As it turns out, eye color can indicate health risks you may be facing.
Eye Color and Eye Health
Light sensitivity – This one makes sense once you think about it. People with blue or light green eyes will be more sensitive to light. Less pigment means more light makes it through. More light equals more light sensitivity. So be reassured, you’re not crazy. The sun really does feel brighter to you! Make sure you get really good sunglasses that block 100% of UVA and UVB rays to help protect your baby blues.
Age-Related Macular Degeneration – This severe sounding condition translates into weakening eyesight because you’re getting older. It hits almost everyone eventually, so long as they live long enough. But people with blue and light green eyes are more likely to feel it come on earlier. Diet, supplements, eye exercises, and sunglasses may help slow it down.
Cataracts – But having brown, black, or darker eyes doesn’t mean you can disregard wearing sunglasses, because you’re more likely to deal with cataracts. People with dark eyes have 1 ½ to 2 ½ times more of a chance of developing this fog over their pupil. Buy really good quality sunglasses and wear them.
More Than Just Eye Health
The color of your eyes can be an overall health indicator, as well giving you hints about your eye health.
Cancers – If you’ve got blue or light green eyes, pay closer attention to moles or any new skin discoloration and growths because you’re more susceptible to skin cancers. And another reason to keep your sunglasses handy – you’re more at risk for cancers of the eyes, as well. To reiterate, dark eyed people are not exempt from concern! Just light eyed people are at greater risk.
Vitiligo – The primary characteristic of vitiligo is blotches of discolored skin. There are treatments, but unfortunately no cure. Still, if you have brown or dark eyes, be aware that you’re more likely to deal with vitiligo than others.
Alcohol abuse – If you’ve got blue eyes, you might want to reconsider that next cocktail. Turns out, blue and other light colored eyes are linked to alcoholism. While no one is quite sure how or why, there’s one theory that says people with darker eyes are actually more sensitive to the effects of alcohol, so end up drinking less, making their alcohol consumption less of a risk.
Pain tolerance – In a study of pregnant women, those with lighter eyes – blue and green – had better pain tolerance than those with darker eyes. Several markers were used to measure pain tolerance, including self-reported pain, response to pain killers, and the ability to sleep while in pain. Across the board, light-eyed women had higher pain tolerance levels. While this study was small, and only included women, it definitely opens up some intriguing options when it comes to pain management.
Depression and anxiety – The same study that looked at eye color and pain tolerance also looked at depression and anxiety after childbirth. Again, women with light colored eyes, the blue and green categories, showed fewer symptoms of post-partum depression and anxiety. Further research is definitely required before any information should be extrapolated from this study to larger populations, but once again, it’s an intriguing possibility.
The eyes are just windows to the soul. We’re beginning to realize that eye color may be windows into your health, as well!