insightful look blue eyes

5 fun facts about eye colour

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.

 

No matter their colour, your eyes need special care

 

If you’re looking for a new optometrist, visit an Optometrists’ Clinic location near you. Our professional and courteous staff offers eye exams for the whole family, as well as top-of-the-line eyewear and contact lenses. Contact us today to book an appointment in the Edmonton area.

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