Facts About Eye Color

insightful look blue eyes

Did you know that the colour of your eyes is determined by how much melanin you have in your irises?

People with a lot of melanin are more likely to have brown eyes, whereas those with little of it will probably have blue or green eyes. Here are five other interesting facts about eye colour.


1. Everyone’s eyes are brown


Or at least the melanin in their irises is brown. What makes someone’s eyes look a different colour depends on how much light is absorbed by the melanin. The less melanin you have in your irises, the less light is absorbed. This results in more light being reflected back out of your eyes and making them look hazel, green or blue.


2. You can have different-coloured eyes


Known as heterochromia, you can either be born with this condition or develop it later in life. Heterochromia also refers to irises that have an inner ring or a patch that’s a different colour than the rest. Consult an optometrist if one of your eyes changes colour, as this may be a sign of a serious condition such as glaucoma.


3. All blue-eyed people share a common ancestor


Researchers at the University of Copenhagen found that everyone with blue eyes is a descendent from someone who lived between 6,000 and 10,000 years ago. This person would have had brown eyes but carried the first genetic mutation for blue eyes, which was then passed down and spread over many generations.


4. Eye colour affects your sensitivity to light


If your eyes are particularly sensitive to the sun, this may be because of their colour. Since blue and green eyes have less melanin, they’re not as effective at blocking out harsh sunlight and UV rays. Regardless of the colour of your eyes, however, you should always wear sunglasses outside to protect your eyes.


5. Predicting eye colour is harder than you think


Despite the popular belief about dominant and recessive genes, you can’t predict a baby’s eye colour just by looking at the eyes of the parents. Eye colour is actually a multi-gene trait determined by a combination of up to 16 genes. However, babies are typically born without melanin, which can make their eyes look blue at birth.

Dr Rohit Bhaskar, Physio
Dr Rohit Bhaskar, Physio Hey, I am founder of Bhaskar Health and completed my Graduation in Physiotherapy from Uttar Pradesh University of Medical Sciences. My clinical interests are in Chest Physiotherapy, stroke rehab, parkinson’s and head injury rehab.

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