What is Heterochromia definition/concept

When the irises of the two eyes are different colors, an anomaly is known as the term heterochromia occurs. There are two modes: total and partial. In the first, each eye is a different color and in the second part of the iris is a different color.

This feature draws a lot of attention, but is not valued as an unsightly feature.

This characteristic does not generally affect the quality of vision and occurs as a consequence of a change in melanin, a pigment that is present in humans, animals and plants.

As a general rule, it manifests itself from birth as an inherited genetic trait, but which can sometimes be acquired after an injury, drug use or an illness (eye bleeding is often the cause of color variation) .

It should be noted that melanin production can also affect the skin or hair.

An anomaly that especially affects some animal species

More often than not, cats have one blue eye and one that is a different color. Some dog breeds (Siberian husky, Dalmatian or Australian Shepherd), cows, horses and ferrets also show this chromatic change in their eyes.

In any change in eye color, an ophthalmologist should be consulted.

Heterochromia is not common and for this reason it is advisable for a specialist to carry out an exhaustive evaluation, as this anomaly can be related to several problems, such as tumors or hereditary diseases.

In the case of children born with this peculiarity, possible relationships with other hereditary diseases must be ruled out.

Some vision disorders within the category of rare diseases

  • – When there is no iris in the eye, this pathology is known as aniridia.
  • – When it is not possible to distinguish the colors, color blindness occurs (sometimes no color is distinguished and everything is perceived as gray, this pathology is called achromatopsia).
  • – Like heterochromia, albinism is related to a lack of melanin.
  • – Stargardt’s disease affects the cells of vision, the cones, causing a gradual deterioration of visual quality. Retinitis pigmentosa is a genetic disease that affects photoreceptors and is one of the main causes of blindness.
  • – Nictalopia, also known as night blindness, prevents normal vision in the absence of light. Akinetopsia is a neurological disorder and those who suffer from it cannot perceive moving images .
  • – Capgras syndrome is a disease that affects people’s identification process . When a person perceives objects as being much smaller than they really are or as if they are farther away, it means that he suffers from Alice in Wonderland syndrome.

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