Can Eye Color Predict Medical Issues?

Eye Color
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Eye color can be an indicator for certain health issues.

In addition to being the “windows to the soul,” eyes are amazing organs.

They allow you to see and can adjust to high and low levels of light.

The colors of the iris also bring color and beauty to the face.

According to a recent AARP article titled “What Your Eye Color Can Say About Your Health,” the iris color may also mean you are predisposed to certain ailments.

What have studies found regarding eye color and illnesses?

Eye color may be an indicator of greater risk of certain illnesses.
Lighter eye color may indicate a greater risk of skin cancer.

Having lighter eyes positively correlates to increased skin cancer risk.

The Cancer Causes and Control journal published a recent 2021 study about cancer and eye color.

Through studying 35,000 men with different color eyes, researchers found those with hazel, blue, or green eyes had a 24 percent greater risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma than those with dark eyes.

They also had a 17 percent greater risk of developing basal cell carcinoma.

Those with blue or green irises also have greater risk of developing melanoma in their eyes.

Why would lighter-eyed individuals have a greater risk of skin cancer?

Generally, those who have less eye pigment also have less skin pigment.

Those with fairer skin tend to have develop skin cancer at a higher rate.

Having darker eyes can decrease and increase risks for certain eye conditions.

Those with brown eyes have a lower risk of developing age-related macular degeneration.

In this condition, the macular section of the retina is damaged and central vision is lost.

As a result, you cannot see fine details.

Macular degeneration is the number one causes of visions loss in individuals age 50 or older.

Brown eye color are also known to have a lower likelihood of developing diabetic retinopathy.

This condition impacts the blood vessels in your retina.

Vision can be lost over time.

Although dark eyes seem to be protective against many illness, a 2014 review of studies found those with dark eyes are at greater risk of developing cataracts.

While researchers are unsure about the reasons for this, one theory is the darker eyes attract and hold more heat.

More heat in the eyes has been linked to cataract development.

Another theory involves place of residence.

Those with darker eyes tend to live closer to the equator and have more sun exposure.

The amount of sun exposure a person receives also has been connected to cataracts.

Whether your eye color is dark or light, wearing sunglasses with 100 percent protection from UV light can help reduce your risk of developing cataracts.

Although you cannot change your eye color, you can talk with your doctor about your risks of developing these health conditions.

Reference: AARP (Sep. 8, 2022) “What Your Eye Color Can Say About Your Health”

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