5 Bizarre Eye Conditions

April 27th, 2021

There are a number of bizarre eye conditions that result in unusual eye appearances, some of them quite striking. However, these conditions sometimes negatively impact vision and may cause discomfort to those who have them. If you or someone you know has any of the following conditions, it’s important to keep a close eye on resulting symptoms.

Our eye care specialists in Mesa and Chandler will provide a thorough examination, create a treatment plan, and help you troubleshoot ways to improve vision and normalize the appearance of your eyes. Some abnormal eye conditions leave you prone to glaucoma, cataracts and other eye diseases. At Swagel Wootton Eye Institute, we specialize in cataract and LASIK eye surgery in Phoenix and offer consultations on any unusual symptoms you may experience.

Here are five fascinating but problematic eye conditions.

1. Cat Eye Syndrome

Cat eye syndrome presents as an elongated pupil that may have a keyhole appearance. A chromosomal abnormality on chromosome 22 causes the condition. Each cell has extra genetic material that leads to the elongated pupils and (potentially) other symptoms. For those with CES, a fissure remains in the lower eye during early development and the gap remains. Sometimes, only the iris is affected, and the person has normal vision. Other times, the fissure impacts other layers of the eye resulting in poor vision. In some cases, surgical remedies are possible to improve eyesight.

2. Multiple Pupils

Some people are born with multiple pupils that work independently. This is an extremely rare condition known as polycoria. It differs from pseudopolycoria in which there are holes in the iris that do not have separate sphincter muscles. Complications from this condition include poor vision and sensitivity to glaring lights due to less effective iris and pupil functionality.

In order to repair multiple pupils, clients must undergo a surgery called pupilloplasty.

3. Charles Bonnet Syndrome

Some people who are losing or who have lost their vision experience visual hallucinations. This condition, known as Charles Bonnet syndrome, results as the brain tries to create images when it no longer gets enough information from the eyes. The brain pulls images from your memories and the hallucinations can consist of almost any subject. Those with Charles Bonnet Syndrome understand that the hallucinations aren’t real. Therefore, this is not a byproduct of mental health conditions. Patients with late-stage macular degeneration often experience Charles Bonnet Syndrome and quite often very scared when they experience these symptoms. They find enormous relief to find out they are not losing their mind.

Currently, there is no treatment for this condition except to wait for the brain to adjust to loss of vision.

4. Tears of Blood

Bleeding eyes or haemolacria can result from a number of medical causes but few people experience this rare condition. Women with bleeding tears have been recorded as religious phenomena since the 16th century. Underlying causes that can lead to haemolacria include tumors, pink eye, hormonal changes and problems with tear ducts. It’s most common in fertile women and spontaneous cases only arise once in many years.

Doctors may use CT scans, endoscopy and irrigation to detect and diagnose the cause of this problem. The right treatment depends on the underlying cause. Sometimes, the problem abates and goes away on its own. Other times, your eye doctor may prescribe medication, dilation and flushing of the tear ducts, stents or surgery.

5. Completely Black Eyes

If you see someone who seems to have completely black eyes, they may have a condition known as aniridia. Those with aniridia have a very large pupil and a small ring of iris tissue. Because the pupil is so large, it may seem as if the person has no iris (colored portion of the eye). As in many other eye defects, this is due to a chromosome mutation.

As long as the person can see reasonably well, no action may be necessary. In some cases, corneal transplants, stem cell transplantation and other surgeries may improve the person’s eyesight.

Some people with completely black eyes may develop a cloudy lens or glaucoma. We can prescribe medication to lower eye pressure or perform cataract surgery or glaucoma surgery as necessary to help improve the vision of people with aniridia.

Contact Swagel Wootton Eye Institute to set up an exam for unusual eye conditions. Our eye care specialists in Mesa and Chandler can help you get the care you need optimal vision. We specialize in cataract and LASIK eye surgery in Phoenix and provide eye care for your entire family.