10 Strange Things That Can Happen To Your Eyes

While people might worry about the health of organs like the heart, lungs, and liver, not many people think about their eyes. But some very strange diseases and conditions can affect our vision and our eyes need to be checked by an optometrist to prevent, diagnose or treat these problems.

10 strange things that can happen to your eyes include:

1. Cat Eye Syndrome

  • An extremely rare chromosomal disease, cat eye syndrome appears at birth and is a lifelong condition.
  • The syndrome was named after its signature symptom—an absence of tissue in the eye, which causes the pupil to narrow and push itself into the iris.
  • Unfortunately, cat eye syndrome also affects the kidneys, heart, ear, and skeletal system. It may also cause hyperactivity and mild mental disability.
  • Treatment varies depending on the phenotype of the sufferer and the severity of the symptoms.
  • The ocular abnormality cannot be reversed, but eyesight can be improved with glasses or other prescription eyewear.

2. Eye Paralysis

  • In every case of eye paralysis, the eye loses all sensory and motor functions—and it’s a much more common condition than you’d think.
  • It’s usually a symptom of various diseases, such as diabetes, peripheral artery disease, a tumour in the pituitary gland, or a cardiovascular problem.
  • Treatment for eye paralysis depends on the underlying cause—if the cause is cured, the paralysis will be as well.

3. Hippus

  • More of a natural occurrence than a medical condition, hippus can be observed in anybody.
  • When you shine a light into a person’s eye, their pupil will enlarge and contract at a slow pace, as it adjusts to the new, brighter environment.
  • This is the pupil’s normal way of reacting. In fact, if hippus doesn’t occur under these circumstances, that may be a sign of medical problems in itself.
  • But when hippus occurs without the help of light, it can indicate a wide range of conditions, including neurosyphilis and multiple sclerosis.

4. Eye Tumors

  • Normally appearing behind your eye, ocular tumours are unpleasant enough to begin with—but are even weirder when they appear on the outside of the eye.
  • These types of tumours, called limbal dermoids, are almost always benign and usually don’t cause any major vision problems, since they rarely cover the center of the cornea.
  • Patients often don’t request surgery to have them removed, because the tumours don’t harm them, aside from the possibility of mild astigmatism.

5. Ocular Herpes

  • Ocular herpes is exactly what it sounds like: herpes of the eye.
  • It can be caused by the varicella-zoster virus or by herpes simplex type 1.
  • These are distinct from the virus that causes genital herpes and ocular herpes cannot be sexually transmitted.
  • Ocular herpes can appear as a sore or bumps on the eyelid.
  • These sores will usually heal within about a week, but until then they can cause redness, headaches, and photophobia.

6. Red Eyes In Albinos

  • Albinism is a condition caused by insufficient production of melanin, the pigment that gives colour to your skin and hair.
  • This melanin deficiency also affects the eyes, which can appear red or pink as a result.
  • Since albinos lack pigment, their eyes aren’t really red. Instead, the iris becomes transparent enough that the blood vessels behind it show through, creating the reddish colour.
  • Unfortunately, the lack of melanin means the retina is less efficient at absorbing light. This causes photophobia, an uncomfortable or painful response to bright light.
  • Albinism can also inhibit the eye’s development and is strongly associated with astigmatism and other vision problems.

7. Star In The Eyes

  • This condition involves star-bust shaped cataracts that are generally caused by injury to the eye.
  • It’s common for cataracts to form after a blow to the eye, since the shock wave can disrupt the structure of the lens, causing it to become opaque in places.
  • Through treatment, this condition can sometimes be reversed, however, in some cases the damage is permanent.

8. Heterochromia and Different Eye Colours

  • A fairly well known condition, heterochromia is a difference in colour between the eyes.
  • Most cases are hereditary, but it can be acquired later in life.
  • Heterochromia can manifest itself in different ways. For instance, not all heterochromia cases involve two totally different-coloured eyes. Some people have two different colours within the same eye—for example, with sectoral heterochromia, you could have two blue eyes, but a quarter of an iris might be red or brown. The third type (other than complete heterochromia, which is described above), features a circular ring of colour around the outside of the pupil, and is known as central heterochromia.

9. Polycoria and Two Pupils in One Eye

  • True polycoria is one of the rarest conditions in the world—there have been only a handful of cases in recorded history. Even exactly how it occurs is still unknown.
  • People with true polycoria have two or more pupils in one eye.
  • The pupils are contained in the same iris, but have their own sphincter muscles and are capable of operating independently of each other.
  • Much more common is a condition called pseudopolycoria. People with this condition simply appear to have two or more pupils. However, the additional “pupils” are merely holes in the iris, lacking a pupillary sphincter, and do not function as true pupils.
  • Other than mild vision loss, polycoria doesn’t affect the inner workings of the eye.

10. Haemolacria and Crying Blood

  • Maybe one of the strangest conditions in medicine, haemolacria is better known as crying blood.
  • It can manifest as tears that are anything from merely red-tinged to appearing to be entirely made of blood.
  • Haemolacria is a symptom of a number of diseases, and may also be indicative of a tumor in the lacrimal apparatus.
  • It is most often provoked by local factors such as bacterial conjunctivitis, environmental damage or injuries.
  • It is unclear what causes people to develop the condition.

More Information


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Further Questions?

If you have further questions, we recommend speaking to an optometrist. 
Use Whitecoat.com.au to easily find an appropriate provider near you.

Sourced from List Verse
19 Apr 2016

Sourced from
List Verse

19 Apr 2016

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