Your browser does not support javascript:   Search for gard hereSearch for news-and-events here.

Diseases

Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

Print friendly version

Heterochromia iridis


Other Names for this Disease

  • Asymmetry in the pigmentation of the irides
  • Pigmentary abnormality of the anterior segment of the eye
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.

Your Question

My eyes are a blueish grey on the outside, with a yellow/brown ring around the iris. I have always just called them hazel, but after reading a little bit I am curious if this could be heterochromia iridis. My younger sister's eyes are just like mine too.

Our Answer

We have identified the following information that we hope you find helpful. If you still have questions, please contact us.

Would blueish grey eyes with a yellow/brown ring around the iris be considered heterochromia iridis?

The 'yellow/brown ring" likeli describes a "peripupillary ring" rather than heterochromia iridis.  To know for certain, we recommend that you discuss this question with your healthcare provider.

While we were unable to find data regarding the prevalence of peripupillary rings, these rings appear to be common in people with blue eyes.[1] Peripupillary rings may range in color from brownish, reddish, to yellowish. Factors (genetic and others) which dictate eye color is very complex, and the cause of peripupillary rings in not completely understood. The following links provide detailed information on eye color and may be of interest to you. 

University of Delaware article titled, Eye color: The myth
http://udel.edu/~mcdonald/mytheyecolor.html

Prud’homme-Généreu A. More than Meets the Eye. National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science
http://sciencecases.lib.buffalo.edu/cs/files/eye_color.pdf

Last updated: 7/5/2013

References
  • Mackey DA, Wilkinson CH, Kearns LS, Hewitt AW. Classification of iris colour: review and refinement of a classification schema. Clin Experiment Ophthalmol. 2011 Jul;39(5):462-71; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=21176045. Accessed 7/5/2013.
Other Names for this Disease
  • Asymmetry in the pigmentation of the irides
  • Pigmentary abnormality of the anterior segment of the eye
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.