• author
    • Kristen Marie

      Columnist
    • July 23, 2019 in Columnists

    There’s something in my eye

    Third grade, my teacher Mrs. Taffy Dela-Cioppa said to me, “Oh, there’s something in your eye!”

    I couldn’t feel anything. What was she talking about?

    “Oh! It’s just your eye!”

    I went home that day, went in to the bathroom, lifted up my eyelid, and took a close look at my eyeball. And there it was. I’d never really noticed it before. My eye was green, but just below the shadow of my eyelid was a hazel color.

    My mom told me that when I was around 2 years old, my eyes turned from brown to green, but my right eye stopped part way. She hoped and hoped it would stay that way, because it was beautiful! She’s right, it is pretty amazing.

    It took me 34 years to realize what it really was: heterochromia. I just thought my eyes were different colors. I love to take pictures of my eyes. The difference in coloration when the sun hits just right is when it’s the most noticeable.

    I can’t stop myself from staring into everyone’s eyes now. They are as unique as a fingerprint. I teach preschool and one of my friends has a sectoral heterochromia that is so beautiful, it reaches deep into his amazing and inquisitive soul. He has the most beautiful hazel colored eyes with an almost amber red section, like a piece of pie.

    This is a collage of people with heterochromia. All images are used with permission.

    Heterochromia of the eye is called heterochromia iridum or heterochromia iridis. It can be complete or sectoral. In complete heterochromia, one iris is a different color from the other. In sectoral heterochromia, part of one iris is a different color from its remainder. In central heterochromia, there is a ring around the pupil or possibly spikes of different colors radiating from the pupil.

    Have you ever seen a dog, (usually a husky or cattle dog) with a blue eye and a brown eye? That’s complete heterochromia, and it’s pretty amazing. I have what’s called a sectoral heterochromia in one eye, and a central heterochromia in the other eye.

    Heterochromia iridum is uncommon in humans, affecting fewer than 200,000 people in the United States. Uncommon. If that doesn’t describe me, I don’t know what does! It can be considered a deformity, but to me, it’s just a fun quirk that I share with my other heterochromia pals!

    Do you have a heterochromia? Have you always noticed it or did this article open up your eyes? (Pun intended!) If you are a fellow heterochromian, please share your thoughts in the comments!


      • Caroline Morgan

      • July 23, 2019 at 4:30 pm
      • Reply

      Love it! I’m glad Facebook has given us the medium to connect with others like us.


      • Maya Stiles Parsons Spier

      • July 23, 2019 at 5:23 pm
      • Reply

      I think it’s gorgeous! Over time I’ve developed a lot of amber spots and my blue has faded to gray, although the very dark ring around the outside of the iris remains, but I think that’s different. On the other hand, I’ve seen ears like mine maybe 3 times in 63 years. Being unique is just cool. 🙂


        • Kristen

        • July 26, 2019 at 10:53 pm
        • Reply

        What’s unique about your ears? I’d love to know!


          • Maya Stiles Parsons Spier

          • July 27, 2019 at 1:33 am

          Not sure how I can tell you except show you and I can’t attach pictures here.


      • Jen

      • July 24, 2019 at 6:38 am
      • Reply

      What a great piece that explains our amazing “mutation “!!



    Leave a Comment