Heterochromia Iridis: Symptoms & Signs

Medically Reviewed on 7/30/2021

Heterochromia iridis is a condition in which people have two different colored eyes. The condition may be present at birth or acquired.

The primary symptom of heterochromia iridis is that the iris (the colored part surrounding the pupil) of the eye has a different color in each eye. The affected eye may be darker or lighter in color than the opposite eye. In some cases, the difference in eye color may be barely noticeable and only seen in close-up photos or upon close inspection. It is also possible for only a portion of one iris to be different in color. This phenomenon is known as segmental heterochromia iridis.

Causes of heterochromia iridis

Hereditary heterochromia iridis is a genetic condition that may be linked to abnormalities of the eyes or body. Acquired heterochromia is usually caused by an eye disease.

Other heterochromia iridis symptoms and signs

  • Iris Has a Different Color in Each Eye


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Jameson, J. Larry, et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 20th Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Education, 2018.