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Diseases

Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Heterochromia iridis


Other Names for this Disease
  • Asymmetry in the pigmentation of the irides
  • Pigmentary abnormality of the anterior segment of the eye
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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" likely describes a "peripupillary ring" rather than heterochromia iridis. To know for certain, we recommend that you discuss this question with your healthcare provider.

Peripupillary rings appear to be common in people with blue eyes. Peripupillary rings may range in color from brownish to yellowish. Factors (genetic and others) which dictate eye color are very complex, and the cause of peripupillary rings in not completely understood.[1]
Last updated: 4/8/2015

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.