What do we know about eye color anyways?
In the past, it was taught that brown eyes were dominant over all other eye colors. While brown is the most common eye color, eye genetics turned out to be more complicated than that. You actually can’t determine a child’s eye color by just the eyes of their parents and grandparents. In addition, we now know that it’s possible for two blue-eyed parents to have a brown-eyed child.
Scientifically speaking, your eye color really only says how much pigment (melanin) you have in your iris. The more pigment, the darker your eyes will be. So, green eyes have less melanin than brown eyes, and blue eyes have even less. If you are familiar with Albinism, those people often appear to have red (or even violet) eyes because their irises are almost completely devoid of melanin, allowing you “see” the red from the blood vessels behind their eyes.
Because of the lack of melanin, lighter eyes such as blue, green, or grey eyes are actually more susceptible to cancer of the eye, called uveal melanoma. People with those eye colors are also more likely to experience age-related macular degeneration. Since lighter eyes have less melanin, less UV light is being absorbed by the iris, and more can pass through and cause damage. (Meaning, let’s all do a good deed and get our light-eyed friends some sunglasses).
From the start, your eye color changes. Most babies are born with colorless or blue eyes, since they are born with little to no melanin in their bodies. However, eye color starts to develop within the first couple of days on Earth, and by age three, eye color is typically fully developed. Disease, trauma, aging, and even some kinds of eye drops can disrupt the pigment in the iris and also lead to changes in eye color.
Finally, your eye color is uniquely you! Since eye color is based on the amount of melanin, you’re really not seeing “blue” in an eye, you are perceiving the lack of pigment as a blue color (yeah, color is weird like that). But, this means that every single eye color is as unique as a fingerprint. You and a sibling can both have blue eyes, but may have different amounts of pigment, or a different patterning, and thus have completely different colors! Even more unique, a person can be born with heterochromia, a condition where their eyes are two different colors.
But, what does your eye color mean?
Eyes are one of the most noticed features on our faces. If someone has an interesting eye color, such as striking blue eyes or a unique green hue, you are more likely to remember them. This has led to assumptions in our culture on personality traits and talents based on eye color. If eyes are really the window to the soul, who’s to say our eyes can’t also give a key to our personality?
People with brown eyes (and this means about 80% of the population) are thought to be trustworthy and more outgoing. Although I don’t personally believe a majority of the population is trustworthy, if you have brown eyes, you may be perceived as more honest when up next to your lighter-eyed peers.
I think we’ve all heard the songs about blue eyes. From pop to classic rock, you can tell by songs like “Ocean Eyes” by Billie Eilish and "Sweet Child O' Mine" by Guns N' Roses that people with blue eyes are perceived as sentimental, emotional, and imaginative. Even though blue eyes are much less common than brown, still over 10% of the population has this hue.
Having one of the least common eye colors, people with green eyes are often seen as mysterious, unpredictable, and intellectual. You may have heard the phrase “green-eyed monster,” but I think it's much more likely that someone without green eyes was jealous of this striking eye color.
A green eye color is not just about the pigment in the eyes, but also the way the light scatters it to bring out this color. That’s why people with green (or even hazel) eyes tend to say their “eye color changes.” Now you know they might not be completely full of it.
Featuring flecks of gold, this brown-green hue is more interesting than most other eye colors, since hazel eyes are a combination of colors instead of predominantly one hue. Hazel eyes often feature a darker ring on the outside and a “sunflower” closer to the pupil. But, any combination of these colors can be considered hazel. People with hazel eyes are often perceived as having a sharp mind and a determined personality.
Grey eyes are said to be even lighter in pigment, and even rarer, than blue eyes. People with grey eyes are known to be more quiet, reserved, and more conforming. An old soul if you will.
“Black eyes” don’t actually exist, they are really just an extremely dark brown hue with a high concentration of pigment. People with black eyes are seen as impulsive, hot-tempered, and adventurous.
- Eye genetics are more complex than once thought. You can’t simply determine eye color by the eyes of someone’s parents and grandparents.
- Eye color is determined by the amount of melanin in the irises. The more melanin, the darker the eye color.
- A baby’s eye color actually changes after they are born, since they are born with little melanin. Disease, aging, and trauma can also change eye color.
- Because light eyes have less melanin, they are more susceptible to UV damage and more likely to experience macular degeneration or cancer of the eye.
- Some people think you can determine personality by eye color. Brown is said to be more trustworthy, blue is sentimental, green is mysterious, hazel is determined, grey is more reserved, and black is impulsive.
Whether or not our eyes are the window to the soul, it’s no doubt that they are important! No matter your eye color (but especially if you have light eyes), make sure you protect them! Fuse Lenses offers a range of lenses that are 100% UV protected. So, you really have no excuse to leave your peepers exposed.