The Science Behind: Eye Colours
Cover page- Sara Chaudhari
Many people assume that the only way you can change eye color is by wearing contact lenses. However, that isn't true. Of course, you can change your eye color by wearing lenses, but is it the ONLY way? Let's find out!
Your eye color changes with every emotion you are feeling. Pretty sick, huh? Some emotions, like tranquility, fear, surprise, and sadness, even constrict or dilate our pupils. Since eye color is not homogeneous, dilation or constriction will tend to make our eye color more prominent or lighten its tone. Even the slightest emotion will do so but in an unnoticeable amount.
Eye color is determined by the genes and the melanin level in your body. Melanin is a pigment that is in your hair, skin, and irises. The melanin level around your pupil increases with age, making your eyes darker.
If you have lighter eyes (such as blue or green eyes), this is because they have a low concentration of melanin. Due to this, lighter eyes lack protection from UV radiation. More harmful UV light can pass through light-colored irises, increasing the risk of developing cataracts and macular degeneration. On the flip side, since lighter eyes have less pigment, the iris is more translucent and can absorb more light. This means that light-eyed people tend to have a slightly better night vision than dark-eyed people.
FUN FACT: 10 to 15 percent of Caucasian eyes change color with age.
Eye color can also change due to injury or surgery. The picture below shows the 'before' and 'after' of an eye surgery designed to change eye color.
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