BBC - Our eyes can change colour in surprising ways

In summary, according to this article, eye color is not always constant throughout our lives, and can change depending on external factors.
  • #1

Astronuc

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Our eye colour doesn't always remain constant throughout our lives – in fact, a wide range of external influences can change it, from injury to infection and sun damage. And sometimes the change appears to happen spontaneously.

https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20220929-how-our-eyes-change-colour-throughout-our-lives
Evidence suggests that whether a baby's eye colour changes or not depends a lot on the colour itself. One study led by Cassie Ludwig, an ophthalmologist at the Byers Eye Institute at Stanford University, tracked 148 babies born at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital in California, recording their iris colour at birth. Nearly two-thirds of babies were born with brown eyes, and one-fifth with blue.

Two years later, Ludwig and her colleagues found that of the 40 blue-eyed babies in the study, 11 had brown eyes by the age of two, three had hazel, and two had green. Of the 77 brown-eyed newborns, almost all (73) still had brown eyes at the age of two. It appears, then, that blue eyes are much more likely to change than brown eyes during the early stages of our lives.

I recall that my eyes were more or less blue in my early years, then became more green/brown later in life.
 
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  • #2
Astronuc said:
Our eye colour doesn't always remain constant throughout our lives – in fact, a wide range of external influences can change it, from injury to infection and sun damage. And sometimes the change appears to happen spontaneously.

https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20220929-how-our-eyes-change-colour-throughout-our-livesI recall that my eyes were more or less blue in my early years, then became more green/brown later in life.
The brightness will fade due to the pigments being broken down by light heat. Just like all artificial colourants.
The business end of the dye or pigment, the chromophore, will eventually degenerate and each particular colour has its own 'fastness.' Some are robust others not at all with every shade of grey in-between.
Replacing cells, specific pigments deteriorates with age just like any other organ.
 
  • #3
There are medications that may change eye color, Examples: Travatan, Travopost.
https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/travoprost-ophthalmic-route/side-effects/drg-2006646
 
  • #4
@pinball1970 do you have a citation for your explanation? Would help a lot -- thanks
 
  • #5
jim mcnamara said:
@pinball1970 do you have a citation for your explanation? Would help a lot -- thanks
Yes will tomorrow. On the tablet is difficult.
 
  • #6
Huh. Did not know it was that malleable. I wonder how long it will be before someone discovers things that can be ingested (safely) that affect eye colour. I wonder if there are some safe substancesthat can change them to unnatural colours, like red or purple.

There was a guy on the innertoobs years back who researched all the (safe) chemicals required to turn his urine every colour of the rainbow (one at a time, obviously).
 
  • #7
DaveC426913 said:
Huh. Did not know it was that malleable. I wonder how long it will be before someone discovers things that can be ingested (safely) that affect eye colour. I wonder if there are some safe substancesthat can change them to unnatural colours, like red or purple.

There was a guy on the innertoobs years back who researched all the (safe) chemicals required to turn his urine every colour of the rainbow (one at a time, obviously).
That's different Dave, pigmentation in the skin and eyes is genetic. What goes through our kidney is as a result of what we ingest.
 
  • #8
pinball1970 said:
That's different Dave, pigmentation in the skin and eyes is genetic. What goes through our kidney is as a result of what we ingest.
I know they're not the same. But your post #2 hints that there are things that do change eye colour over time.

Which means it may just be a matter of time till someone figures out how to 'game' those things to change their eye colour deliberately.
 
  • #9
DaveC426913 said:
I know they're not the same. But your post #2 hints that there are things that do change eye colour over time.

Which means it may just be a matter of time till someone figures out how to 'game' those things to change their eye colour deliberately.
It turns out this is a lot more complicated than I thought. What I said about dyes and pigments is correct but connecting that to the pigments in the iris was mostly wrong looking at the literature.

Stroma can contain pigment but blue eyes do not have it.

I will find the chromophore links and post them but if jim had not replied to my mail I would have removed it I think.
 
  • #10
jim mcnamara said:
@pinball1970 do you have a citation for your explanation? Would help a lot -- thanks
I will post on photo degradation of Chromophores, however my connection with the eyes was wrong. Pigmentation does not even account some eye colours. A quick wiki could have told me that.
 
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  • #11
My eyes went from hazel to blue in my old age.
 

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