If you had the option of changing the brown color of your eyes to blue through a laser procedure, would you change your eye color? In this article, we will find out about a new laser procedure that may be able to irreversibly change the color of one's eyes from brown to blue.
Lumineyes is a laser treatment that has been developed by Dr. Gregg Homer, who is also the founder of a California-based company called Stroma Medical. While Dr. Homer first thought about developing this laser treatment in mid-1990s, it was in 2004 that he began conducting trials on animals to see if the laser treatment could turn brown eyes blue. Experiments were later conducted on human corpses. It was in 2010 that he started conducting trials to change eye color on live patients in Mexico. While this laser procedure lasts for a mere 20 seconds, the change in the eye color would take place within two to three weeks. The laser procedure is still in the testing stage. Dr. Homer is currently trying to raise more money to complete the safety trials. He believes that getting approval of regulatory authorities wouldn’t be a problem. Though he believes that the laser procedure would be safe and plans to launch this treatment within a period of three years in the United States of America, ophthalmology experts have raised questions on the risks and complications associated with this procedure. So, can this laser treatment turn brown eyes blue? In this article, we will try to find out the answer to this question and also look into the various aspects associated with this laser procedure.
Laser Therapy for Brown Eyes
In order to understand how this laser treatment could turn brown eyes blue, you must first understand why some people have brown eyes while others may have blue eyes. Well, it is the iris that determines the color of one’s eyes. The iris is the muscular diaphragm that controls the amount of light that enters the eye. It consists of three layers called endothelium, stroma and epithelium. The color of a person’s eyes depends on the amount of melanin pigment and the pattern in which melanin is present in the iris. It is a person’s genetic makeup that determines the amount and the pattern in which melanin is placed in the front layer and the back layer of the iris. People have blue eyes when melanin is present only in the back layer. It is also the process of reflection and the diffraction of light that causes the eyes to appear blue. When there is a considerable amount of melanin in the front layer, the eyes would appear to be brown. Thus, the distribution of different amounts of melanin in these layers can cause the eyes to appear hazel, brown, gray, green or blue.
Unlike the other types of laser eye surgery that may be used for vision correction, the lumineyes procedure is solely used for cosmetic purposes. The laser technique that has been developed by Dr. Homer involves the use of laser to target the melanin so as to turn the color of the eyes from brown to blue. First of all, the iris is scanned with the help of a computer. After that, the laser is tuned to a specific frequency so as to disrupt or melt the brown pigment on the surface of the eye. It is the removal of melanin from the front layer that causes the change in the color of the eyes. The change in the color doesn’t take place right after the procedure. The color would gradually change from brown to blue within two to three weeks. There is one crucial aspect of this surgery that should be noted. This procedure would irreversibly change the eye color. So, only those who are sure that they want blue eyes must think about undergoing this laser procedure.
Possible Complications of Lumineyes Procedure
As mentioned earlier, Dr. Homer is currently trying to raise funds for completing the clinical trials on humans; and this laser technique would be available only if it is approved by the regulatory authorities. If regulatory authorities do give their approval, the cost of this procedure is estimated to be around $5000. While Dr. Homer is certain that there will be no safety issues, and this technique will allow people to change their eye color from brown to blue, ophthalmologists have a different story to tell. Unlike the colored contact lenses that give you freedom to temporarily change the color of your eyes, this technique is irreversible. So, even if this technique is approved and becomes available, one should be completely certain about their desire to turn the color of their eyes from brown to blue. One can see the computer simulation on how one would look on changing the eye color from brown to blue. Though this may help you to decide whether you should go ahead with this laser procedure or not, one cannot be sure about the accuracy of computer simulation.
Ophthalmologists also believe that this treatment may make one susceptible to an eye condition called pigmentary glaucoma. Pigmentary glaucoma is a condition that may occur if melanin seeps into the fluid present within the eye. Eye specialists believe that the debris that may be created when melanin is targeted with a laser could block the microscopic channels that are present in the front of the eye. This may raise the eye pressure temporarily or permanently. If the eye pressure remains high most of the time, it could make one susceptible to glaucoma. Glaucoma is an eye condition that could even cause blindness. Though sophisticated tests may have been used to ensure that the laser therapy only affects the pigment and doesn’t harm the tissues, the long-term effects of this procedure are still unknown. One cannot rule out the possibility of corneal damage or inflammation while burning melanin with laser. Ophthalmologists are, therefore, emphasizing on the need to conduct elaborate studies to determine the health risks of this laser treatment before it becomes available to the public.
Though surgical procedures have earlier been used to treat congenital iris defects such as ocular albinism, heterochromia and coloboma, changing the eye color for cosmetic reasons is a matter of personal choice. The lumineyes procedure is still in the testing stage and even if it is approved after the completion of clinical trials, one must not ignore the fact that it is an irreversible procedure. While you can choose to wear or not to wear colored contact lenses to change the color of your brown eyes, if you undergo this procedure, the color of your eyes would be blue for the rest of your life. The health risks and the long-term effects of this procedure also need to be analyzed. More than being a prominent facial feature, the eye is a specialized organ of vision that allows us to see the world around us. So before undergoing any such cosmetic procedure, make sure that the procedure is completely safe.