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Can eye color change years after birth?

  1. Nov 2, 2005 #1
    I have no doubts that the eye colors of infants can change during the first several months of life. I've got my own proof in my sibling's (and my own) baby pictures. But what about years later, like adolescence or even adulthood?

    I know people who say their eye colors change depending on mood, I know people who say their eye colors change during different times of the year, I know people who swear that they can change the color of their eyes at will. Sometimes when I look into a person's eyes I see regularly, I swear they look different sometimes. Are my eyes deceiving me?

    I'm of the opinion that the clothes a person is wearing, the lighting of the environment, and the colors of the surrounding environenment have an effect on what we see when we focus on something. I may be wrong, but it's a speculation of mine.

    Also: Can certain drugs effect the color of the eyes?

    What's your opinion?
     
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  3. Nov 2, 2005 #2

    Evo

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    My older daughter's eye color changed when she entered her teens.

    My eye color changes from dark hazel to more of a lighter green when I cry.
     
  4. Nov 2, 2005 #3

    cronxeh

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    :surprised
     
  5. Nov 2, 2005 #4
    Why do you cry? :frown:
     
  6. Nov 2, 2005 #5

    Moonbear

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    I think most of the time, those environmental influences are more responsible for perceiving someone's eye color differently than that their eye color actually has changed. I also notice this more with lighter colored eyes, that often have more of a mixture of pigments in them, that different lighting or clothing will accentuate some of those pigments more than others.

    I have heard people claim that their eyes change color with their moods, but have never witnessed this. I do wonder if it could be the dilation or constriction of the pupil revealing different areas of the iris in contrast to the dark pupil that creates an optical illusion of changing color. Different moods can invoke different degrees of dilation of the pupil. But I have not observed this first-hand, nor do I have anything to back it up, just speculation.

    I haven't heard of any major changes in eye color in adulthood, but have heard the occassional anectdotal tale of someone's eyes changing color around puberty. Given the myriad other changes that occur to the body at that age, I certainly wouldn't dismiss it, especially since eye color is determined by multiple genes, any of which could involve hormonal regulation (again, speculation regarding mechanism there).
     
  7. Nov 2, 2005 #6
    That's interesting. Was your daughter's eye color change a drastic one or something very minimal (i.e. a slight shift in color lightness or darkness)?

    Just a speculation: I find it possible that the light reflecting off of your tears could result in the illusion of a lighter colored iris.

    I agree. (I think it's what I tried to say, too.)

    Those are good speculations. I hadn't considered those possibilities.
     
  8. Nov 2, 2005 #7

    Evo

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    Her eyes had always been gray/blue, but now they have light hazel coloring in areas. Not a huge difference, but very noticeable. I was quite startled the first time I noticed. She was bummed.

    It's odd and I wouldn't think it possible, but my eyes become more sea green with a very dark band around the outside of the iris. Normally they are hazel with no dark outer band. Your eyes get bloodshot when you cry hard and I'm wondering if that has something to do with it.
     
  9. Nov 2, 2005 #8

    Evo

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    Sad, my heart's been broken before. :cry:
     
  10. Nov 2, 2005 #9
    My eyes are always changing depending on what I'm wearing and what is around me.

    They can be green, hazel, blue, grey, bluish grey and nothing. (I mean no one can fiqure our a name for them)

    Oh and I have had one eye be one color and another be another color.

    P.S. They started be blue more often after I hit puberty. Don't know why.
     
  11. Nov 2, 2005 #10
    Just One point.

    As I understand it, the color of a childs eyes often starts of as blue in the first months or year of their life because the pigments are activated by light.
     
  12. Nov 2, 2005 #11

    Evo

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    Yes, but her eyes were blue for 12 years.
     
  13. Nov 2, 2005 #12

    Moonbear

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    That seems like a reasonable possibility too, that maybe the darker areas are actually dilated blood vessels showing through the pigmented iris. It's fun to try to guess the explanation for things we observe...it'll be more fun if someone looks up or knows the actual explanation to see if any of our guesses is right. :biggrin:
     
  14. Nov 2, 2005 #13
    but that would take work, and not be nearly as much fun!
     
  15. Nov 3, 2005 #14
    That's interesting. I thought you were going to say her eyes got darker... that's what happened to mine. They used to be the picture-perfect baby blue, but now they're rather "steely" in color, if that makes sense. There are other colors in my eyes besides blue as well, and oddly enough, I think there's a slight ring of hazel around my pupils. I'll have a friend take a closer look sometime this week so I can give a more detailed description.

    I just had another thought.

    With age, perhaps the eyes can undergo a series of changes which affects the way the eyes reflect and absorb light.

    For those unfamiliar with the basic properties of light reflection and absorption: An opaque object reflects any colors it doesn't absorb, therefore taking the appearance of the colors it reflects. For example, a red ball absorbs all wavelengths of white light and thus all colors, except for red.

    Over time, as the body matures and changes, perhaps the eyes change certain properties as well that affect the way they reflect and absorb different colors of light. And eye properties are known to change. People with glasses sometimes need new lenses due to further stigmatism, or whatever the problem. Just a thought.
     
  16. Nov 3, 2005 #15
    I've tried looking some of this stuff up, but I'm not getting any specific answers. It's just as well, though - Cosmo16 is right! This stuff IS fun to speculate. :biggrin:
     
  17. Nov 3, 2005 #16
    Melanin,a protein and pigment molecule that colors eyes, skin and hair, does change for several reasons. It can be from natural ageing, hormones, sickness and medicines like anti-histimine that can induse changes in cells that produse melanin.

    I do also believe there is a reflective quality, because when I wear red, my brown eyes can turn greenish.
     
  18. Aug 7, 2006 #17
    I have blue eyes and when i cry they turn a sea blue-green type of colour...Also i think my eyes were a darker shade of blue when i was younger but they have gotten much lighter since my late teens. It would be really good to know why some peoples eyes change to this greenish colour when they cry.
     
  19. Aug 7, 2006 #18
    My eyes turn a shade of red when i poke pencils into them, strange i thought...

    Hey Evo, maybe someone swapped your daughter for a replicant in her teens!
     
  20. Aug 7, 2006 #19

    Evo

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    Yes, I have definite doubts about her, too many "slight differences". :tongue2:
     
  21. Oct 11, 2009 #20
    Would it be possible, through some genetic deviation or abnormality, that a person's eyes could change color (i.e. something akin to a warning or defense mechanism)? Hypothetically speaking of coarse. The reason I ask is, I've witnessed varying degrees of iris color change (In my self and a few others) dependent on the particular mood of the person(s) in question.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2009
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