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Date of last update: 9/9/2017.

Forum Name: Pediatric Topics

Question: Golden Irises(I am young, may as well post it here)

 Perrin Aybara - Wed Jan 12, 2005 9:03 pm

An odd occurency, though at least a few of you have seen it before. I'm simply requesting an explanation beyond, say, genetics. Myself and my brother have hazel eyes, our nuclear family of six is split evenly between the colors. Neither of us is a genetic sport, though one of my two sisters is. I am 14 years of age while my brother is 28. We share hazel with the details of no one we' ve met. I discovered this oddity while brushing my teeth, notified him, and it turned out he had the same problem. Now down to the point. While our hazel eyes are obviously just that, they have a yellow ring near the outer edge of the iris. My case is a fair bit more prominent than his. When our pupils dilate, the yellow ring is exposed around the outside of the pupil. When light reflects off of this, it gives the effect of eastern european brown eyes. It is golden. But unlike with Romantic countries, this gold looks quite literally polished, producing a shine on one third of the iris closest to the bottom of the nose(at least this is where it is most easily recognizable). Anyone within a short distance(no more than about three feet) can see this effect. I was not born with this, my eyes were the perfect model of hazel. I suspect this is the case with my brother, but am not sure. An explanation I would be very grateful for. I have seen cases of a color split in the iris, and even know one girl who has this that changes from season to season. However, I have not heard on this eye color on anyone except, well, wolves. I know I am not turning into a wolf, especially seeing as it takes dilation of the pupils to make this show up. I suppose some other physical information would be useful.
Myself: 5' 6"(growing). 115lbs. Light, wiry stature.
Brother: 6' 3". 260lbs. medium stature.
here is a picture of the closest match I could find to the color of our eyes. though this is a much more dim case of gold, seeing as it does not shine as though burnished.
Click here!
 Dr. Heba Ismail - Mon Jan 17, 2005 9:54 am

Dearest Perrin,
The closest I could find in the medical literature to what you've described is something called 'sectoral heterochromia iridis'. It is a condition where different sectors of the iris has different colours. It is rare in humans and is commonly seen in dogs and cats. It is usually benign and frequently genetic in origin, but can also occur in certain diseases.
If you feel concerned about this condition, please check with an ophthalmologist.
 Perrin Aybara - Tue Jan 18, 2005 3:25 pm

...for the research. I looked a bit further into it using the condition as a search keyword. Surprising result:
" The presence of some yellow pigment called xanthin combined with the scattered blue light gives the color green."

In my mind I would begin to believe that xanthin is now the prime suspect. Is it not a possibility that the prism effect of the blue is non-existent in the rim of the eye where this shows? It is, after all, most obvious when the light shines directly on the side(not the front) of the iris. Would this simply be that the xanthin is shown clearly and alone on the rim of the eye, where the prism may not be at the correct angle? The girl I mentioned, now that I have read up on the condition you described, most certainly has sectoral heterochromia iridis. She has one eye with blue and brown in it, separated clearly in what looks almost like a line.
Back to the subject, would the reflection of the yellow simply be caused by the blue not reflecting inside the rim of the iris? I'll have to observe some other hazel eyes. This may well explain the distinctly yellow rim showing(which is exposed when dilated) up because it is a concentration and lacks the clear iris that produces the blue reflection. And also, would this simply mean that wolves have a higher concentration of the xanthin pigment in their eyes to produce a yellow throughout?

Many thanks again for the research and thoughts.

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