No two people on the planet have the same eye color. Whether it’s brown, blue, hazel, or green, your eye shade is one-of-a-kind and unique to you. If you ever notice that your eyes look different, it’s probably worth checking out with an eye doctor.
Most adults’ eye color will remain stable from infancy until their senior years. During this time, the body produces more melanin and the pigment in the iris becomes darker. But, for most, this process will be relatively slow. In fact, it can take up to three years for a child’s eyes to fully develop into their permanent shade.
Eye color is determined by the amount of melanin present in the connective tissue in the front of the iris, known as the stroma. More melanin means dark eyes, while less melanin results in lighter eyes. Eye color is also genetically determined and influenced by environmental factors, like light conditions. In the case of light, the iris is able to expand or contract in order to control pupil size, which can give the appearance of eye color changes.
However, it is important to note that if your eyes do change color, it’s likely because of an underlying medical condition. Rare diseases such as heterochromia, Waardenburg syndrome, Sturge-Weber syndrome, or Horner’s syndrome can lead to permanent eye color shifts. Additionally, glaucoma medications such as prostaglandins (used to treat high blood pressure) and Latisse, which is used to lengthen eyelashes, can have a permanent effect on eye color.
Aside from these underlying causes, it’s extremely difficult to change your eye color naturally. Some natural remedies and products are touted to have this effect, but these claims are unproven. For example, some suggest that consuming certain foods can help change your eye color, including hazelnuts and apricots. Although these foods are healthy, there is no scientific evidence to support these claims.
The best way to change your eye color is by wearing colored contacts. These are available in opaque, enhancement, and visibility tints. Opaque lenses are solid in color and non-transparent, while enhancement and visibility tints have flecks of color that add highlights to your natural eye color.
While changing eye color by using contact lens tints is a safe and effective method, it’s important to consult with an optometrist first. You should never use an unproven product, like a contact lens that claims to change your eye color in minutes, as it can result in severe eye damage. Instead, consult with a 2020 On-site mobile eye care provider or your local Costco Optical to receive a thorough eye exam and determine the cause of any changes in your eyes. From there, an expert can recommend a treatment that’s right for you.