True or False? Does the colour of our eyes affect how we see? Does someone with blue eyes have a harder time seeing than someone with hazel eyes? In order to answer those questions, we’ve dug into the science behind the colour of our eyes.
How Eye Colour is Developed?
Our eyes are one of the most fascinating features of the human body and it’s one of the genetic features that parents like to watch for as their children grow up. Allaboutvision.com states human eye colour originates from 3 genes, two of which are well understood. Green, brown and blue account for those genes while grey, hazel and multiple combinations are not understood quite yet at this time.
You may have learned in biology class that brown eyes are dominant and blue eyes are recessive, but modern science has shown that it’s not always that simple. Each parent has two pairs of genes on each chromosome, which results in multiple possibilities of colour combinations for their child. The article also claims that eye colour really just depends on however the Wheel of Fortune is spun.
How Do Our Eyes Change Colour?
Typically, children who are born with blue eyes gradually get darker over time as they grow up. It’s also incredibly common for people with lighter eyes to experience iris hue changes as they age. Studies show that 10 to 15 per cent of Caucasian people experience this phenomenon.
Does Our Eye Colour Affect Our Vision?
Now that you know how our eye colour develops, it’s time to find out if the colour of your iris ultimately affects the way we see. Well, the answer is a bit of both true and false. Different colours are prone to different conditions and symptoms, but EnVision states that the colour doesn’t directly affect the sharpness of our vision. However, the amount of melanin present in your iris can affect visual discomfort in certain situations. Melanin is a pigment responsible for determining different skin, hair and eye colours and can protect skin cells from UV damage.
The amount of melanin in your iris determines what colours of light are absorbed or reflected. The more melanin present, the darker the iris is, meaning that those with darker coloured eyes experience less visual discomfort in bright, sunny conditions. The higher concentration of pigment cells in their irises acts as an internal sun shade dissipating more sunlight and radiation you may be exposed.
People with darker irises may have better vision in high-glare situations such as night driving because less light is reflected within the eye, which improves the ability to judge contrast.
People with light coloured eyes are more susceptible to harmful UV light passing through their irises, which may increase your chances of developing cataracts and macular degeneration. Wearing UV-blocking sunglasses or coated prescription glasses can reduce your risks of eye damage.
Envision also states that some recent studies suggest that our eye colour can affect our reaction time. People with lighter coloured eyes generally perform better on self-paced tasks like bowling and golf, while people with darker eyes tend to be better at reactive tasks like boxing or hitting a ball.
Although the colour of our eyes may not directly affect our vision, there are still particular symptoms you may experience depending on the colour of your iris. Keep your eyes safe and protected and remember to get regular eye exams with your optometrist if you are experiencing difficulties.