Posts Tagged ‘eye disease’

What Causes People To Have Two Different Colored Eyes Aka Heterochromia?

Written by Levin Eye Care on . Posted in Eye Health

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Eye color is one of the first traits we notice when we meet someone new.

If you’ve ever met someone with two different colored eyes, then you’ve seen what heterochromia looks like. Only three out of every five hundred people have it, though, so it’s not that common (but you might have seen an odd-eyed cat or dog). Heterochromia happens in a few different ways and has a few different causes.

Genetic Versus Traumatic Heterochromia

In most cases, heterochromia is the simple result of unusual genetics, a harmless mutation changing the way the pigment develops in one or part of one iris. There are a few famous examples in movies and TV, such as Dominic Sherwood and Anthony Head, who both have blue eyes with a brown patch in one, and Josh Henderson and Alice Eve, who each have one blue eye and one green.

Even people who aren’t born with heterochromia can still develop it as the side effect of injury or disease. Surgery or trauma can cause a change in the appearance of one eye. David Bowie was a famous example of this due to his one permanently dilated pupil. Diseases like diabetes, eye tumors, or glaucoma can also affect the appearance of one eye differently than the other. This is the case for Mila Kunis, who suffered eye inflammation in one iris for years.

The Types of Heterochromia

Heterochromia comes in a few varieties, as we’ve already hinted at with our celebrity examples. It can be complete heterochromia, segmental, or central. Complete heterochromia (or heterochromia iridum) is where each iris is a different color. Segmental heterochromia (heterochromia iridis) is where a patch of a different color appears in one iris.

The most common form of heterochromia, central heterochromia, is where the two irises match each other but have rings of a different color around the pupils — such as when someone has green eyes but a thin ring of hazel around the middle. The results aren’t quite as instantly striking as mismatched eyes, but they still look pretty cool.

Mismatched Eyes in Culture

Different cultures have interpreted heterochromia in different ways throughout the ages. Eastern European pagans believed that being born with different colored eyes meant they had witch eyes. Some Native American cultures, meanwhile, believed it meant the person had “ghost eyes” with the ability to see into heaven and earth.

Whatever Their Color(s), Let Us Take a Look at Your Eyes!

If you weren’t born with heterochromia but have noticed a change in the color of one or both of your eyes, it’s a good idea to schedule an appointment so that we can take a look and find out the cause. If it’s an untreated side-effect from an injury or a symptom of a health condition, we can help!

Our patients have beautiful, unique eyes!

Three Common Vision Problems

Written by Levin Eye Care on . Posted in Child and Pediatric Care, Eye Health

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Most people who start needing glasses or contacts while they’re young have at least one of three common vision problems : myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism.

These common vision problems are all refractive errors, which means they’re problems with the way the eyes focus light, rather than an eye disease. Refractive errors have to do with the physical shape of our eyes, so let’s take a closer look!

Myopia: What’s Right In Front Of You

Myopia is the technical term for nearsightedness, meaning that you can see clearly up close but distant objects are blurred. This happens when the eyeball itself is too long, or when the cornea is too curved. That additional curvature or length causes light to focus in front of the retina instead of on it, which makes the resulting images look fuzzy.

The way glasses or contacts correct myopia is by compensating for this error to extend the light’s focus onto the retina where it belongs. These lenses are concave (thinner in the middle), and always have a negative prescription.

Hyperopia: Gazing Into The Distance 

Hyperopia, better known as farsightedness, means that you can see distant objects clearly, but everything up close is blurry. This common vision problem happens for the opposite reasons that myopia does. Instead of being too long, the eyeball is too short, or else the cornea is too flat. This causes light to focus behind the retina, making near images fuzzy.

In order to correct hyperopia, corrective lenses must be convex (thicker in the middle) and have a positive prescription. The larger the number, the stronger the prescription.

Astigmatism: A Warped Perspective

The third common refractive error people experience is astigmatism, and it’s a little different from the other two. A normal cornea is uniformly curved so that there is a single focal point. A cornea with astigmatism is more football shaped, creating multiple focal points, which makes things appear blurry at any distance and bends their images.

Astigmatism is often paired with one of the other refractive errors, and it requires more complex lenses to correct than they do. Typically, the lens will be somewhat cylindrical rather than spherical.

Keep Your Prescription Updated!

All three types of refractive error can worsen over time. This is which is why most people don’t keep the same prescription forever. If it’s been a while since your last eye exam, or if you’re noticing blurriness where there used to be clarity, having sharp vision again is just one appointment away!

Thank you for always putting your trust in us!  Ask your Doctors at Levin Eye Care Center with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.