The irises of eyes, like the skin and hair, contain specialized pigment-producing cells called melanocytes. The density of the pigmentation determines eye color along a continuum from light gray to dark brown.
Iris color can lighten if the number of pigment granules in the stroma decreases or if the granules produce lighter pigment. The iris can also lose color if the stroma pigment degrades. These causes of iris lightening are not uncommon in middle-aged or elderly persons.
There are also some eye disorders (e.g. Horner’s syndrome, uveitis) that can affect iris pigmentation, but most loss of color is age-related.
If appropriate, suggest:
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