There are more colors of the rainbow than there are colors of eyes. Most people have eye colors in shades of green, blue, brown and hazel. Some eye colors are more common than others, and those colors are generally determined by genetics. However, you can still have a family full of people with different eye colors. The color you have may put you at a higher risk for problems such as cataracts and skin cancer, as these conditions happen more frequently in people with certain eye colors. Find out how you got your eye color, what it means, and if it raises your risk for certain eye conditions!
This colored part of your eye is known as the “iris” of the eye, and completely surrounds a black circle in the center of your eye. This black circle is your “pupil”. Both the black part and the colored part of your eyes are very important to the vision process. When you look at objects, the light waves bouncing off of those objects hit your eyes. Light will go through your cornea (clear outer membrane) and through the black hole in your eye.
All light waves have specific energies and frequencies, and your eyes are delicate. If you notice, you will squint when you are looking at a bright light, and you will open your eyes wider when you are in darkness. This is your body trying to let in enough light so that you can see objects clearly. As light passes through the eye, the colored part (the iris), will make your pupil larger or smaller depending on how much light there is. With bright lights, your pupil will get very small. In darkness, your pupil will grow in size. In this way, your eye is always regulating the perfect amount of light to help you see.
Not only does your iris control the size of your pupil, but this tissue stores a substance called melanin. Depending on your genetics, your eyes will either store a lot of melanin in the iris tissue or they will store very little. This amount of melanin pigment determines if your eyes will be dark (like brown) or if they will be light (like blue). Some studies suggest that this melanin helps protect your eyes from the sun’s rays.
The depth of the color you have is determined by that amount of melanin, but the eye color you have is specifically determined by your genetics. Genetics actually determine the makeup of your entire body, but especially eye color. Your eye color is based off of your parent’s eye color and your race. Whole societies can have one eye color if that is the dominant trait among its people. However, two parent’s genes can mix in certain ways to give children different eye colors.
There are only a few different natural eye colors, which range between dark brown and light blue. That array includes the common colors of brown, green, gray, and blue. There are only those few eye colors because of the amount of melanin in the eyes and how that melanin reflects off of light rays.
No matter your eye color, you want to always keep your eyes healthy. Your eyes can become milky or clouded over if you have certain eye diseases. However, most diseases can be avoided by visiting your eye doctor often. To learn more about your eye color or to schedule your eye exam today, call Peepers Optical at (303) 333-2800!