Dothan, Alabama
1623 W Main St.
Dothan, AL 36301

What Is Heterochromia? Dothan Eye Doctor Explains January 9, 2018

Dothan, Houston
What Is Heterochromia? Dothan Eye Doctor Explains, Dothan, Alabama

The iris is a circular membrane in the eye, responsible for adjusting the size of the pupil. In addition to helping control the amount of light entering your eye at any given time, the iris is also responsible for giving your eyes their unique color. While most people have two irises of the same color, there are certain individuals whose irises appear as two distinct colors. This is the result of a condition known as heterochromia. As Dr. Ron Sealock, an eye doctor in Dothan, AL, notes, heterochromia is a rare, benign condition, which can occur as the result of eye trauma or a congenital mutation. 

Eye Doctor Explains Everything You Need to Know About Heterochromia


eye doctorIn most cases, heterochromia is the result of a benign mutation. For individuals with congenital heterochromia, melanin is not evenly produced in the irises. This results in two different eye colors such as a brown eye and a blue eye, or a green eye and a gray eye. Congenital heterochromia is typically present from birth or can develop in early childhood.

This condition may also occur as the result of illness or trauma. Individuals with acquired heterochromia can develop two differently colored irises or have one pupil that is permanently dilated. At first glance, it can be difficult to distinguish between congenital and acquired heterochromia. However, the difference in color tends to be more pronounced in congenital cases.


Eye doctors categorize heterochromia into three different types: complete, segmental, and central. Complete heterochromia occurs when each iris is a pronounced, distinct color. In segmental, just a small patch of one iris may be a unique color. Finally, in central heterochromia, there may be a small, contrasting ring of color around the eye’s pupil. 

Potential Concerns

Heterochromia poses no health threats to patients living with the condition. However, it can be a sign of a more serious complication. Very often, this condition develops in response to diabetes, glaucoma, or a tumor of the eye. Visiting your eye doctor for a complete eye exam is the only way to conclusively determine the cause of this change.

If you are in the market for an experienced eye doctor in the Dothan, AL, area, contact Dr. Ron Sealock. At Dr. Sealock’s optometry center, you’ll find state-of-the-art equipment and diagnostic tools alongside a friendly and caring staff. To learn more about the services offered at this practice, visit the website, or call (334) 793-9607 to schedule your appointment today.

Other Announcements, Events and Deals from Dr. Ron Sealock
3 Questions People Often Have Before Eye Exams, Dothan, Alabama
Scheduling regular eye exams is a crucial part of protecting your health. From eye strain caused by daily activities to diabetes and other diseases, changes in vision can stem from more
How to Discover If You're Colorblind, Dothan, Alabama
If you believe your vision might not be the same as everyone else’s, you could be colorblind. If you haven’t seen an eye doctor or had an eye exam recently, learning more about more
3 Tips for Handling Uncomfortable Contact Lenses, Dothan, Alabama
Contact lenses are an invaluable alternative for people seeking something more discreet than traditional eyewear, but when you begin to experience regular discomfort, it can seem more
5 of 2018’s Top Eyewear Trends, Dothan, Alabama
There are more eyewear options available today than ever before, and chances are you may have noticed the abundance of choices. From different shapes and styles to virtually every more
3 Reasons Regular Eye Exams Are a Necessity, Dothan, Alabama
Problems with your vision can occur gradually, remaining unnoticed until they become a significant issue. Regular eye exams allow you to have a professional eye doctor more