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Defining Eye Color and its Significance with Logan Eye Care

December 13th, 2016

What color are your eyes? What about your mother’s eyes? Your spouse’s? Chances are you are able to answer these questions without much hesitation. Many times, eye color is amongst one of the first things we notice in others, whether or not we realize it at the time. But, what exactly is eye color, and how does it affect us? Keep reading for a quick lesson on eye color from your eye doctor.

Eye Color Defined

Eye color is concentrated in the pigmented part of the eye called the iris. Melanin is the pigment in your eye that creates color. The amount of melanin in your iris determines the color of your eyes; this creates a range of eye colors from dark brown to light blue. Darker colored eyes contain a higher amount of melanin than lighter colored eyes.

Although eye color doesn’t affect the quality of a person’s eyesight, it can have certain effects on vision, as well as be a warning sign of eye conditions and beyond.

Light-sensitivity

People with lighter eyes, such as blue or green, are more sensitive to light than people with darker eyes. Lighter colored eyes contain less pigmentation, which allows more sunlight to travel into the eyes. When people with blue or green eyes are exposed to bright lights, their eyes are more likely to become sensitive and even be susceptible to sun damage. However, his does not mean their eyesight quality is less effective than that of other eyes.

Although lighter eyes are more susceptible to light sensitivity and sun damage, all eyes are susceptible to sun damage. To prevent from developing eye conditions caused by sun damage, make sure to wear UV protective sunglasses when you are outdoors.

Reaction Time

Scientists have speculated that eye color might have an impact on how well you perform in certain reactive tasks. The University of Louisville conducted a study comparing light-eyed and dark-eyed individuals when performing certain tasks, like throwing and hitting balls, bowling, etc. They found that people with darker eyes were better at “reactive-type tasks;” which consist of hitting balls, playing defense during football game and boxing. People with lighter eyes, on the other hand, were better at “self-paced tasks,” such as hitting golf balls, throwing baseballs and bowling.

Eye Coloration Warning Signs

Eye color and the coloration of the eye, as a whole, can change due to factors like genetics, trauma, sun exposure, infections, allergies and many others. Changes to the color of your eyes can be warning signs of bigger issues that should be discussed with your eye care specialist, including the following:

  • Pupil and eye color changes

If you notice that the pupil of your eye is becoming hazy and turning white or blue, it could be a sign of cataracts developing in your eye. Without treatment, cataracts can continue cover your eye and affect your vision.

Sometimes eye color may change over a period of time. In many cases, it is a sign of heterochromia. Heterochromia is a condition that is distinguished by the change of color in either the whole iris or a section of the iris; for example, if your eyes are originally blue and one of them changes to brown. There may be no other symptoms than the change in color but in some cases it could be a sign of serious eye conditions such as trauma, inflammation, tumors, infection, and others.

If a white ring develops around the cornea or the outer rim of the iris, it could be a sign of high levels of cholesterol.

  • Whites of the eye color changes

The area surrounding the iris should remain white on a daily basis. If you see that the whites of your eyes have changed to either red or yellow, it could be a sign of conditions such as allergies, infections, or even internal complications like liver impairment.

Make sure to visit your eye care professional in order to prevent these eye conditions or keep from experiencing further complications. Visiting your eye care specialist for annual check ups can help identify any potential problems and can work towards finding a solution.

At Logan Eye Care, we make it our goal to provide the best eye care available in Lake Mary. If you notice any odd eye coloration or are experiencing any difficulty with your eyes, schedule your appointment with us today.