Eyes have been the subject of writers and artisans alike. They have also captured our attention for hundreds of years. These fragile and powerful organs help us see the world around us and hold a lot of mystery.

Hello Summerville! We might be seeing this school year a little differently, but yearly checkups should still be on your family’s to-do list. We are taking every precaution to keep our patients and staff safe. We look forward to seeing you and your family very soon!

If you are the slightest bit familiar with famous works of art, poetry, and popular music from the 1900s on, you’ll notice that the eye has been a popular muse and inspiration throughout these platforms. There is a reason why Shakespeare wrote his famous line “the Eyes are the window to your soul”. The eye holds a key to our personality, our body language, and lets us see the world around us. They are precious and should be cared for as such. The eyes can also be very mysterious. They can show signs of illness, distress, or undiagnosed conditions. In this two-part blog, we are going to be talking about how eyes can change colors and why this might be happening.

The process of eyes changing color begins as early as infancy. Most babies are born with light blue or grey eyes, due to their lack of pigment. Once pigment does develop, they will grow into their permanent eye color. Many things can make the eyes seem to change color; like the color of your clothing, the amount of light shone on them, and what is surrounding the person whose eyes you are looking at. After you’ve grown into your permanent eye color, your eye color rarely changes. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, color changes can be linked to trauma, changes in the iris or other parts of the eye, disease, genes, and medications. If you do notice any changes in the color of your eyes, please contact us right away.

[The Iris]When it comes to the iris changing the coloring of your eye, it can be related to many different conditions. The most common are Fuchs Heterochromatic Iridocyclitis, Lisch nodules, iris nevi, and iris freckles. Fuchs heterochromic iridocyclitis, according to the AAO, is the most dangerous of these four conditions and can lead to glaucoma. It is an inflammation in the front part of the eye, including the iris. The cause is still unknown, and the loss of pigment in the eye and cataracts can be two symptoms of this condition. These two symptoms can cause the iris to change color. Lisch nodules are growths found on the iris. The iris takes on the color of the growths, which will change the original color of your eyes. This condition is linked to neurofibromatosis, which is a disorder of the nervous system. The condition, according to the AAO, has a genetic link between family members. It can change the color of your eyes but it usually doesn’t affect your vision. Iris nevi look like small moles that grow on the iris, also changing its natural color. They are harmless and grow very slowly according to the AAO, but can become a risk for cancer. Lastly, iris freckles can appear on the iris, just like freckles do on your skin. They are caused by exposure to the sun and are very common.

Other serious conditions that can change the color of the eye due to its link to the iris include iridocorneal endothelial syndrome (ICE), pigment dispersion syndrome, uveitis, and Horner’s Syndrome. These conditions can cause the eyes to change color for many different reasons, but their effect on the iris can lead to the biggest changes in color. Pigment dispersion syndrome, also know as pigment loss according to the AAO, is the loss of pigment from the back of the iris. It can lead to the eye changing color, but most of the time those who have this condition might not even feel or see symptoms right away. This syndrome is sometimes not found until a glaucoma diagnosis has been given. Glaucoma treatments can help treat this condition.

There are a few more reasons that could explain the cause behind your eyes changing colors that we want to discuss, but we are going to save them for our next blog! If you have any questions or concerns about the current state of your irises or see a drastic change in the color of your eyes, let us know. Until next time, we look forward to seeing you at your next appointment!