Can a Person’s Eye Change Color?

Genetics determines what the color of the eyes will be. It usually starts with a light color which then gradually changes as a person ages. Oftentimes, people resort to contact lenses to temporarily change their eye color. However, some people are also willing to take the risk of iris implant surgery to change their eye color permanently.

How is Eye Color Determined?

A combination of the parents’ genes determines a person’s iris color. Due to various possible combinations, a child may not match the eye color of either parent.

The normal iris colors are:

  • black
  • brown
  • blue
  • green
  • hazel
  • a mixture of these colors

Can Eyes Change Color Naturally?

Yes, eye color can change as we age, but with not very significant changes. At birth, a person’s eye color is normally dark because of dark pigment, melanin, production. As we age, the eye color may lighten, the iris may contract, and the eye color can have slight changes. There can be no drastic changes that could happen such as changing eye color from brown to blue naturally unless you are suffering from a serious medical condition.

The expansion and contraction of the iris can lead to slight changes in the eye color. This usually occurs when a person:

  • stays at a very dark or bright areas
  • focuses the eyes
  • feels strong emotions

Is It Safe to Change Eye Color Permanently?

Because of the high risks and potentially irreversible vision loss, permanent eye color changing is highly discouraged but not banned. Iris implant surgery was first developed to repair or replace an injured iris or eyes with illnesses. However, it became cosmetically famous because of its permanent effect on eye color.

The Risks of Permanently Changing the Eye Color

This iris implant surgery to change eye color is currently not legal in the U.S. Clinical trials but is available in some countries. Researchers have found the surgery to be highly risky and could cause complications especially if done solely for cosmetic reasons. A person who has undergone a cosmetic iris implant surgery could experience the following complications:

  • corneal injury
  • inflammation of the eye and the cornea
  • partial vision loss
  • blindness
  • glaucoma
  • cataracts

Aside from surgeries, there are alarming home remedies to change eye color that are popular on the internet. Some people promote using honey and tepid water to change the color of the eyes gradually.

Beware of procedures and home remedies you find without professional and medical advice. The honey and tepid water method is not considered safe and has no scientific evidence. Tap water and honey are unsterile which can cause serious infection.

When to See a Doctor

People using colored contact lenses should visit their doctor quickly if they experience:

  • vision loss
  • eye discharge
  • blurry vision
  • persistent pain
  • redness of the eye

If you notice any of your eyes turning into another color with significant changes, it is probably a dangerous condition. Major changes in the pigment of the iris normally indicate illness such as iris melanoma, pigmentary glaucoma, Fuchs heterochromic iridocyclitis, and Horner’s syndrome. All of these conditions require immediate medical attention.

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