Health Implications of Eye Color
Changes in eye color could be benign or serious, so it is always wise to visit your ophthalmologist if you have concerns.
Why Are My Eyes Changing Color?
Most eye color changes are harmless, but some alterations can indicate you have a serious medical condition that requires immediate treatment.
- Pigment loss — There are a few reasons you may lose pigment in the iris. One condition is pigment dispersion syndrome, where pigment rubs off the back of the iris and can increase eye pressure.
- Black pupils — Trauma or a blow to the eye could cause the pupil to remain dilated, which can make the eye look black. Iris damage can cause tissue loss and make the eye color look different.
- Red eyes — Uveitis, or inflammation of the eyeball, can be caused by infection or inflammatory conditions like lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.
- Hazy ring around the cornea — Most older adults develop a condition called senilisis, or an accumulation of fat in the eye. The ring can appear blue or white, and it can sometimes appear to alter the color of the iris.
- Cloudy eyes — Cataracts can make the eyes look milky white and make vision appear hazy and blurry. The good news is that cataracts are treatable with cataract surgery, and you can have intraocular lenses (IOLs) inserted that are customized to your vision needs.
- Eye color darkening — Glaucoma medication called prostaglandins can make brown eyes look darker and hazel eyes appear brown. Another condition that can darken the iris is a nevus or freckle. This can cause a dark spot on the iris and is usually benign, but if the freckle changes over time, it can be concerning for possible melanoma.
Make an Appointment for an Annual Comprehensive Eye Exam
If your eyes look like they are changing color, do not panic. It’s always best to call your ophthalmologist for an appointment. In most cases, eye color changes have no bearing on your health. However, eye conditions like glaucoma or macular degeneration can develop slowly and often do not cause symptoms in the early stages.
When is the last time you scheduled a full exam with dilation? A yearly comprehensive eye exam tests more than your vision. It offers a window into your overall health. An ophthalmologist can sometimes detect signs of hypertension, diabetes or high cholesterol while checking your eyes. Make your eye health a priority and call today.