Your eyes reveal a lot about your health
Your eye colour is mostly determined by the luck of genetic draw. Although there are things you can do to improve your eyesight and keep your eyes healthy, there’s not much you can do to change your eye colour. However, your iris colour might reveal more about your health than you think. Here’s what you need to know about dark and light eyes, and all the shades in between.
Dark eyes: May be less likely to have macular degeneration
Your eye colour meaning can give insight into your overall eye health. “A dark iris blocks more ultraviolet light,” says Christopher Quinn, OD. “UV light is a risk factor for macular degeneration. Extra light that gets into the eyes of people with light-coloured irises may cause them to have more retinal degeneration.”
Dark eyes: May have a lower melanoma risk
Dark-coloured irises might indicate you have a lower risk of the skin cancer melanoma. In a study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, researchers took DNA samples and gathered sun exposure data from nearly 500 white children, ages 6 to 10, for four years. Children with the blue eye gene were more likely to develop moles compared to children without the gene. (The number of moles people develop during childhood can predict the risk of melanoma in adulthood.) Other research has found that people with blue or green eyes are at greater risk of melanomas of the eye, most likely because they have less light-absorbing pigment to shield the eyes from sun damage. But no matter what your eye colour meaning may infer, it’s always a good idea to protect your eyes with sunglasses that block 99% to 100% of ultraviolet radiation or UV-absorbent contact lenses, says Quinn.