There are people who seem to have two-colored irises but, in reality, it is the senile arch, orna discoloration of the cornea that occurs due to the accumulation of fatty substances, called lipids. The resulting appearance is a ring around the cornea that can be white, soft gray, or blue in color. Thus, as the cornea is transparent and we see the iris through it, it gives the feeling that it has two colors, but in truth, it is intact.
The senile ring, in the medical field known as gerontoxon, is something common if we are celebrating our birthday and, in fact, it occurs in approximately 70% of people over 60 years of age, reaching 100% of those over 85 years of age and affecting men to a greater extent. Typically, it begins as a white or gray crescent-shaped line on the upper and lower margins of the cornea. As it progresses, the circumference is completed with a band approximately 1 mm wide around the cornea.
But should we worry if we have it? From the age of 45, its appearance is considered a natural process so it does not imply any health problem or complication. Normally, the ophthalmologist can diagnose it with a simple visual observation, it has no symptoms, nor does it generate vision problems or requires treatment, so if we have the senile arch in our eyes, we should not worry.
We just have to be vigilant, in cases where the senile arch occurs in younger people because its appearance may be related to cases of high cholesterol and triglycerides.. And, as we have mentioned, the senile arch is an accumulation of fat deposits of a certain depth on the edge of the cornea. Therefore, when a senile ring appears in people under 45 years of age it can be linked to severe cholesterol levels, many times due to a genetic cause as it has been transmitted from parents to children (familial hyperlipidemia) and is associated with an increased risk of heart disease. Of course, in any situation or age it is advisable to confirm with the specialist for you to assess whether we are dealing with this type of case.