Can I Change my Eye Color?

Can I Change my Eye Color?

Can I Change my Eye Color?

Can I Change my Eye Color?

Changing eye color is a popular topic for many. Eye color is determined by genetics. The colored part of the eye is called the iris. The iris is a muscle that can expand or contract to control the size of the pupil, which responds to the amount of light in the environment. The color of your eye is determined by the amount of pigmentation (melanin) in the iris. Brown eyes are highly pigmented whereas blue eyes have minimal pigmentation. How light reflects off of these pigments creates the perceived color through hue (color gradient), saturation (color intensity), and value (brightness).


Natural Variations and Changes to Eye Color


The iris can have natural variations in color caused by changes in pupil size, which determines how spread apart the pigments are. Other natural factors that affect eye color include age, sun exposure, emotions, makeup and clothing, diet, and disease. Age can affect eye color as melanin production changes, or even when degradation occurs. Sun exposure can activate melanin production. Sometimes, certain emotions can release a hormone that changes your pupil size and thus, your eye color. The colors you are wearing in makeup or clothing can change the perceived hue and saturation. Certain foods consumed regularly, like spinach, fish, and honey, can also affect the hue, saturation, and value of eye color.


How Can I Temporarily Change My Eye Color?


The easiest way to temporarily change your eye color is to wear colored contact lenses. Colored contacts come in three tints: opaque, enhancement, and visibility. 

Opaque: Tint lenses are best for people with dark eyes seeking a dramatic color change to a lighter color as they are solid in color and non-transparent.

Enhancement: Tint lenses are solid in color and transparent. They are best for enhancing the natural color of your eye. 

Visibility- tint lenses have flecks of light blue or green that still show your natural eye color but are used to accentuate the iris. 

Just like when purchasing contact lenses for vision correction, it is recommended that you get a prescription. Purchasing prescription lenses that are approved by the FDA will decrease the chance of getting defective or unsanitary lenses. 


Can I Change My Eye Color Permanently and is it Safe?


Permanent changes to eye color can be achieved through iris implant surgery, corneal pigmentation, and laser eye color change. 

Iris Implant Surgery is a procedure that inserts a prosthetic iris into the eye. It was originally developed to treat iris defects such as albinism and aniridia. It is not, however, approved for cosmetic purposes to permanently change eye color. Iris implants that are used for This procedure for non-medical and cosmetic purposes are considered extremely risky and haves thus been prohibited in the US by the FDA. Risks include reduced vision or blindness, corneal injuries leading to vision problems, and cataracts. The risks for permanent vision loss and blindness far outweigh the cosmetic benefits of an eye color change. 

Keratopigmentation or Corneal Tattooing involves injecting or tattooing pigmentation into the cornea to create the perception of various colors in the iris. Originally used for problems with corneal opacity caused by leucoma or keratitis, this procedure is not recommended for cosmetic enhancement to eye color. It is a semi-permanent option and complications include infection of the cornea, light sensitivity, and risk of inadvertent globe penetration via entry into the anterior chamber. 

Laser Eye Color Change uses a laser beam to remove pigment from the iris surface to reveal the blue and green colors lying underneath the melanin. In the US, the STRŌMA procedure was first patented in 2001 and continues to be in research and development. The procedure permanently changes eye color and can take several treatments to achieve the desired effect. In 2015, the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) warned consumers about the need for clinical trial testing to determine potential safety risks associated with laser surgery to change eye color. The AAO has expressed concerns about how liberating pigment could cause glaucoma, a group of eye conditions that damage the optic nerve, and uveitis, a form of eye inflammation. 

At this time, it is not recommended or safe to pursue procedures for permanently changing eye color. The risks far outweigh the benefits, and when it comes to laser eye color change, clinical trials need to be completed before the procedure can be approved by the FDA.

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