Cosmetic lenses available in the market have always been an option for those who would like to have a change of colours for their eyes: be it blue, hazel, grey or green, it is a temporary option for those who want to look different. But for those of you who have brown eyes, love blue eyes, and want to have permanent blue eyes, luck may be on your side!
The colour of our eyes are dependent on the scattering of light, rather than pigments available in the eye. In the case of blue eyes, when multicoloured light falls on the eye, mostly blue wavelengths are reflected back and picked up by our own eyes. For brown eyes, the difference is that the front layer of the eyes, called stroma, contains an abundance of melanin, which also gives skin and hair their colour. This melanin causes majority of light hitting the eye to be absorbed, so whatever small amount of light that gets reflected makes them appear brown.
For the procedure which permanently turns brown eyes blue, it does so by removing the melanin present in the iris with the use of a laser. Pioneered by California-based Stroma Medical, this procedure is currently available in several countries but has yet to receive approval in the United States. The laser procedure takes just 20 seconds, although results may not be apparent for several weeks as it takes time for the body to remove the dead pigment layer.
So far 37 patient in Mexico and Costa Rica have undergone the procedure and they had all been successful. While it will take several years for clinical trials to be carried out to determine the safety of the procedures, preliminary studies have suggested that it is safe. Experts in the field however, are still concerned, as they felt that the pigment removal by the body could cause a blockage in draining channels, thereby increasing pressure in the eye and leading to glaucoma if unresolved, but Stroma Medical is confident that the dead pigment would be too small to cause such problems.
Nonetheless, with just 17% of the world’s population having blue eyes, and these are becoming less common, the demand for such a procedure may take flight after all if it proves to be safe in the future. Would you go for it if you could?