What is Heterochromia?
Ever see a person, or an animal and they had two different eye colors? Heterochromia is when someone has a difference in eye color.
There are three main types:
- COMPLETE heterochromia, which is when someone has two different eye colors.
- CENTRAL heterochromia, which is when there are different eye colors within the same eye.
- Lastly, there is PARTIAL heterochromia, which is when only part of one iris is a different color than the rest.
According to Medical News Today, less than 200,000 Americans have this rare condition, but animals have a higher percentage.
What causes it?
Variations in the concentration and distribution of melanin can cause it. Melanin is the pigment that gives your skin, hair, and eyes color. If someone is born with this condition, it will most likely not produce any other symptoms.
In children who are born with it, or develop it soon after birth, it is called “Congenital Heterochromia.” Unfortunately, while not common, it can be an indicator of another underlying condition. There are many possibilities, so it is important to schedule an exam by an optometrist to rule out any of the underlying conditions.
What if it develops later in life?
When it develops later in life, whether it be complete, central, or partial there are again many different underlying conditions that could possibly cause it. The development later in life is “Acquired Heterochromia.”
Some common causes are eye injury, eye surgery or diabetes. The list is still pretty long for possible issues so if you notice heterochromia in yourself. If you notice signs, make an appointment with your eye doctor as soon as possible. The bottom line is, no matter if your child is born with this condition or if it develops later in life for you, an eye doctor should look at it. It most likely is just a cool feature you get to carry with you for life, but it is good to rule out anything else that could be causing it.
We hope that you had a wonderful holiday season and have started your new year off with a bang!
The holidays are over, and we here at TriCounty Eye Associates are ready to see what 2021 has in store for us! It has GOT to be better than 2020 right? We want to remind our customers about protecting their eyes, since this time of year winter eye safety usually not at the forefront of your mind.
It is normal during the summertime to remember to grab your sunglasses before you hit the beach or the pool. Did you know that it is just as, if not even more important to bring them along during the winter months?
Wear Your Shades
A winter eye safety survey was done by the American Optometric Association noted that 80% of Americans wear sunglasses in the summer, but less than a third wear them in the winter. This is primarily due to the colder temperatures and overcast skies much of the country sees this time of year. We want to remind you, that even when its cloudy 80% of the sun’s UV rays are still coming through and have the potential to harm your eyes.
2020 has most of us stir crazy, am I right?? Now could be a great time to plan that yearly ski trip (or mountain trip to all our non-skiing folks out there). If you plan to head to a higher elevation, your eyes are not used to the strength of the UV rays the closer you get to the sun. Higher elevation equals higher UV rays and the potential for a disorder called photokeratitis (Snow Blindness). This is basically like a sunburn for your eyes, which sounds awful. Make sure to keep your sunglasses on while exploring!
Lasting effects of UV Rays
One main concern aside from snow blindness is that exposure to too much of the bad UV rays could cause cataracts later in life. The World Health Organization says 20% of cataracts may be the result of overexposure to UV radiation. Furthermore, the effect cataracts has on your long-term eyesight is not good! It can lead to total blindness. While this is a worst-case scenario, it’s still good to keep in mind anytime you are outside. The UV rays are affecting your eyes so why not protect them??
If you are thinking you need a new pair of sunglasses to sport on your next winter vacation. Or maybe you just want to wear them around town to always keep your eyes protected. Come by our offices to find the right pair for you!
We offer many styles and brands that can be made into prescription if needed! You may even be able to get your sunglasses covered by your insurance provider. Give us a call or stop by!