Kelowna Optometrist Explains: Where Eye Colour Comes From!

Kelowna Optometrist Explains: Where Eye Colour Comes From!

Our eyes are extremely unique and simply amazing! They begin to form a mere two weeks after conception and continue to change throughout our lifetime. Babies are first born with no melanin in their eyes, providing them with an initial bluish colour. It takes a few years for the permanent eye colour to come into play. In fact, up until the age of 3, we are unable to determine their true eye colour. Our DNA sequence is responsible for what we end up with. Some babies of African or Asian descent may also start life with blue eyes; however, many are initially brown due to their higher melanin content. The professional team at iSight Optometry in Kelowna thrives on science and enjoys educating our clients.

Kelowna Optometrist Discusses Eye Colours

Blue Eyes

Did you know that every person who has blue eyes shares a special DNA sequence that can be traced to the same ancestor?! That’s right! All blue-eyed people share ancestry with someone who lived approximately 10,000 years ago in the Black Sea region. Isn’t that fascinating? At one time, blue eyes were labelled as being the “recessive” gene; however, science is finding that there is more involved. Blue and grey eyes are the second most abundant in the world population.

Brown Eyes

At one time, brown eyes had the reputation of being the dominant shade. Science has since discovered that eye colour is technically a multi-gene trait (as opposed to a single gene being responsible). This is why some individuals have two different colours within their iris. A unique gene combination can make it possible for one person to two differently coloured eyes or exhibit two distinct shades within one eye. In some instances, birth trauma may also be responsible for babies born with two differently coloured irises. Currently, brown eyes are the most popular (most abundant) in the world.

Green Eyes

One of the original three main shades (blue, brown and green), green eyes are the most rare in the world. They can often showcase combinations of brown or blue and become labelled “hazel” colour.

Iris: Where the Colour Lives

The iris is where the pigment within our eyes live. It is responsible for controlling the size of the pupil and regulating how much light enters our eyes. Since the iris functions as a muscle; contracting and expanding, the colour of your eyes can slightly change, as the pigments are either compressed or spread apart. Our eyes do not continuously produce pigment; therefore, as we age, they can become lighter or darker over time. Emotions can influence your eye colour too. Have a look in the mirror the next time you cry or are feeling angry and notice the shade differences. Additionally, our irises serve to protect the inner organs from UV radiation. iSight Optometry offers a stylish selection of UV blocking sunglasses for every member of your family for the ultimate protection. Too much exposure from sun, sand, snow and water reflections can be avoided with proper eye protection.

Kelowna Optometrist Explains: Where Eye Colour Comes FromSudden Colour Changes Require Immediate Checkups

If you have always had a certain range of eye colour and suddenly notice one eye is different; ensure you book a comprehensive eye exam at iSight Optometry, as it may be an indication of specific diseases including pigmentary glaucoma. As with anything unusual within your body, it is vital to be proactive and look into the issue ASAP. 

Experiment with Coloured Contacts!

iSight Optometry in Kelowna has a great selection of reputable contact lenses that clients can have fun with. Available in non-prescription options as well, everyone can have fun experimenting with different eye colours. There are some specific personality traits even linked to eye colour.

Is it time to book your next eye exam or try some new contacts? Contact iSight Optometry in Kelowna. We look forward to seeing you and your family soon!