Our eye color is basically determined by the amount and the pattern in which melanin is present in the layers of the iris, which is a circular muscle that controls the amount of light entering the retina. This HealthHearty write-up provides information on ways to change your eye color.
More than half of the world’s population has brown-colored eyes. Green is the rarest eye color, and it is estimated that around 2% of the world’s population has green-colored eyes.
There’s no denying the fact that our eyes are one of the most prominent features of the face. A lot can be done to accentuate the eyes. You can change the shape of the eyebrows and apply makeup that makes your eyes look more appealing. However, when it comes to the color of the eyes, very few people are blessed with rare eye colors such as green, blue, hazel, amber, gray, etc.
The color of the eye is determined by the amount and type of pigment present in the iris. Almost 55% of the population has brown eyes. Given a chance, most people would jump at the opportunity of getting the color of their eyes changed into an attractive blue, hazel, or green. With the advent of colored contact lenses, you definitely have the option of changing your eye color temporarily. In fact, wearing colored contact lenses is a great option for people affected by a rare condition called heterochromia iridum, in which the iris in one eye has a different color than the iris of the other eye. The color of the eyes usually becomes permanent by the time a child turns one, but sometimes subtle eye changes could occur till the age of three years. There have also been reports of subtle changes in the eye color in the elderly due to the environmental influence on the genes responsible for eye color. In general, the color of the eyes is permanent, but there are ways by which you can change the color of your eyes.
Permanent Eye Color Change Surgery and Associated Risks
The iris contains two layers. The front layer of the iris is called stroma. It contains melanocytes (cells that produce melanin) and fibers that scatter the light, which is reflected outward. The back layer contains pigmented epithelial cells. The eye color is a polygenic phenotypic character. The main elements that have an effect on the phenotypic variations or the different colors are melanin content in the iris pigment epithelium, the melanin level in the iris stroma, and the cellular density of the iris stroma. When the light travels through an iris that doesn’t contain melanin, the collagen fibers within the iris scatter the short blue light to the surface, which in turn makes the eyes appear blue. It is the difference in the melanin content of the iris stroma that is mainly responsible for different eye colors. There are surgical procedures that can change the color of the eyes. However, most ophthalmologists advise against such procedures for cosmetic purposes due to the risk of complications.
Iris implant procedure involves the administration of local anesthesia. A small peripheral incision is made in the limbus, which is the junction between the sclera and the cornea, to place a thin, flexible prosthesis made of ophthalmic grade silicone. This artificial iris unfolds over the natural iris and is sutured. It must be noted that this procedure alone will not correct any vision defects. The prosthetic device is available in the form of artificial iris or might be available as an iris with a lens implant that is placed in the center of the iris. The suitable candidates for this procedure include:
❖ Individuals affected by aniridia, which is an eye condition that is characterized by the absence of the iris in both the eyes
❖ Individuals who have an iris that cannot constrict properly, which in turn causes photophobia (severe light sensitivity)
❖ Individuals who don’t have an iris in one eye
❖ Individuals affected by heterochromia, a condition in which both the eyes have different colors
It must be noted that the use of prosthetic devices for iris reconstruction is not approved by the FDA. Unlike Europe, where such devices have been available for more than a decade, the surgeons in the United States might get approval for investigation or compassionate use exemptions only. In the absence of extensive research and clinical trials, there’s less information on the possible risks of this procedure. Some ophthalmologists believe that it can put the patient at a risk of developing glaucoma, trauma to the cornea, cataract, vision problems, etc.
Lumineyes is a laser procedure that has been developed by Dr. Gregg Homer, the founder of a California-based company called Stroma Medical. This laser procedure can change the color of the eyes from brown to blue. It must be noted that the change is irreversible. People with brown eyes have blue pigment underneath the brown pigment. It is the absence of brown pigment or melanin in the front layer that is responsible for the blue color of the eyes. This cosmetic laser procedure involves the use of laser that is tuned to a specific frequency to melt the brown pigment or melanin from the front layer of the iris. This causes the change in the eye color. The change in the eye color is not instant and takes place within two to three weeks. This procedure will be available to the public, only once it gets the approval from regulatory authorities. Several ophthalmologists advise against such eye color change procedures due to the possibility of eye damage.
Colored Contact Lenses
The easiest and safest way to change your eye color temporarily is to wear colored contact lenses. Instead of undergoing surgeries that could cause trauma to the delicate structures of the eyes and the resultant vision problems, one can wear colored contact lenses to conceal the irregularities in the iris. The markets are flooded with different colors. So, this is certainly a simpler option for those who constantly feel the need to look different or are not happy with their natural eye color. Colored contact lenses come in a wide variety of colors such as hazel, green, blue, violet, amethyst, gray, etc. However, you should not forget that improper use of contact lenses can also put you at a risk of eye problems such as dry eyes or recurring eye infections. Women must especially be careful if they apply eye makeup daily. They should insert and remove the lenses before applying and removing makeup respectively. You should not wear lenses longer than the duration recommended by the eye care professional.
Is it possible to change your eye color with makeup? Well, you certainly cannot change the eye color by applying makeup. However, certain makeup techniques can help make your natural eye color pop. You might have noticed that certain eyeshadow colors accentuate the color of your eyes. If you match the eyeshadow to your natural eye color, your eyes will look monochromatic. On the other hand, wearing an eyeshadow that is in contrast with the natural color of your eyes will accentuate your eye color. This happens because the eyes will reflect the color of the shadow. For instance, if your eyes are blue, you can wear colors with orange undertones. You can wear orange, brown, apricot, peach, taupe, bronze, gold, or warm tones to bring out the blue color of your eyes. For brown eyes, most colors work well, but shades such as blue, green, gray, beige, silver, and cool shades will accentuate the natural eye color. Those who have green eyes can opt for colors with red undertones. You can wear deep plum, wine, purple, violet, mauve, gold, or pink eyeshadow.
On a concluding note, most ophthalmologists are wary of the eye color change surgeries due to the possibility of eye damage. So, if you really want to change your eye color, it would be best to use colored contact lenses. Eyes are extremely delicate, so do take all the necessary precautions while wearing contact lenses. There’s no harm in improving your appearance, but ensure that beautification doesn’t cost you dearly in terms of your health.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of an ophthalmologist.