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Your Eye Color Can Paint a Clear Picture of Your Health

March 21, 2017

Whether your eyes are brown, hazel, green, blue, gray or somewhere in between, there’s more to eye color than meets the eye. Your eyes can tell you a great deal about yourself, more than you might expect. In fact, your eye color can indicate your risk for certain diseases or predict how well your body can handle pain or alcohol. Here’s what you need to

1. You’re More Likely to Have Cataracts If You Have Dark Eyes

f14d4f76-e806-4602-bce0-ea51c9af512cResearch has shown that people with dark eyes are at a greater risk of cataracts: an eye condition that appears in the form of a fogginess around the pupil of the eye, accompanied by cloudy vision. According to a study published in the American Journal of Opthalmology, dark-eyed people are 1.5 to 2.5 times more likely to be affected by this condition. Therefore, when out in the sun, dark-eyed people are especially advised to take extra care of their eyes, by not only wearing sunglasses, but a hat with a brim too.

2. You’re Less Likely to Get Vitiligo If You Have Light Eyes

According to research, vitiligo, an autoimmune disease which causes blotches on the skin, is less common in people with blue eyes. Research carried out on 3,000 vitiligo patients (all of whom were Caucasian), found that 27% of patients had blue eyes, 30% had green or hazel and 43% had brown eyes.

3. You’re Less Likely to Get Melanoma if You Have Dark Eyes

02Studies have shown that those individuals who are less at risk of vitiligo (light-eyed people) have an increased risk of melanoma. But why is this the case? One theory suggests that vitiligo, as an autoimmune disease, causes our natural immune response to mistakenly attack our own bodies. Consequently, over-activity of that response could be what makes brown eyed people more susceptible to vitiligo. The exact relationship between the two is unknown, but the genes that protect against vitiligo, those that protect against melanoma, and those that dictate the amount and type of pigment you’re given all seem to be intertwined.

4. You’re Less Likely to Have Age-Related Macular Degeneration If You Have Dark Eyes.

Vision loss after 50 occurs due to Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) – damage to a small part of the eye near the center of the retina which sharpens your eyesight. It usually begins as blurriness and progresses to spots that appear completely blank. A number of small studies have suggested that in addition to smoking and a family history of this disease, having light colored eyes puts you at a greater risk of AMD. However, most studies have been small and, as a result, some question the significance of the findings.

5. Women With Light Eyes Are Better At Withstanding Pain

03According to research conducted at the American Pain Society’s 2014 annual meeting, women with light eyes may have a higher tolerance for pain and discomfort than those with dark eyes. In the study, a small group of women were observed before and after giving birth – those with darker eyes exhibited more anxiety and sleep disturbances in response to the pain of the experience. Furthermore, dark-eyed women also experienced a greater reduction in pain after receiving an epidural, which suggests that dark-eyed women are more sensitive to pain.

6. Changing Eye Color Could Be a Sign That Something is Wrong

If you have reddening in the whites of your eyes, there’s a possibility that you might have undiagnosed allergies. If they have turned yellow, you might have liver problems. If one eye has recently changed color, it might be a sign of inherited diseases such as neurofibromatosis, which causes nerve tissue tumors, or Waardenburg syndrome, which usually involves deafness and pale skin, or it could even indicate melanoma of the iris.

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