The color of your eyes can help predict your future health.
What color are your eyes? It’s been said that the eyes are the window to the soul, but it could also be said the eyes are a window to your health.
Numerous studies have found connections between the color of your eyes and your risk of certain health conditions. That’s right! You may have thought eye color to be merely genetic like the color of your skin or the size of your feet, but eye color seems to play a role in your health.
Keep reading to understand the risks your eyes put you in, so you can stay on track with screenings and preventative care.
Risk 1: Cataracts
Blurry, cloudy vision is the main symptom of cataracts. This eye condition is the most common cause of vision loss and the number one cause of blindness around the world. It usually appears as a fogginess covering the pupil of the eye. Have dark brown eyes? Your risk of developing cataracts is doubled. Take steps to protect your eyes from the sun’s ultraviolet rays by wearing sunglasses and a hat when outdoors.
Risk 2: Cancer
Uveal melanoma is a type of eye cancer. While quite rare, people with green, gray, or blue eyes are at a greater risk. Regular eye exams are important in order to detect eye cancer in its early stages.
Melanoma, the most dangerous kind of skin cancer, is most common in people with blue eyes. Generally caused by overexposure to ultraviolet sunrays, advanced melanoma can be hard to treat. Examine your skin regularly for abnormal spots, growths, or moles.
Risk 3: Macular Degeneration
While dark eyes increase your risk of cataracts, light-colored eyes increase your risk for age-related macular degeneration. A leading cause of vision loss, macular degeneration is incurable. In its early stages, no vision loss is noted, but as the disease progresses people develop blurred or wavy vision that worsens over time.
Risk 4: Hearing Loss
You may wonder what your eyes have to do with your ears, but people with blue eyes are more likely to experience increased hearing loss from loud noises than people with dark brown eyes. Why the connection? Brown eyes mean you have more melanin (the pigment that colors your eyes, skin, and hair) in your ears. The extra melanin helps protect your ears from loud noises.
Risk 5: Heavy Drinking
It’s a strange phenomenon, but people with blue or green eyes drink more alcohol and are at a greater risk for alcohol abuse. Why? For some reason people with dark eyes may be more sensitive to the effects of alcohol and other drugs. This sensitivity may mean they drink less to feel the same effects.
Risk 6: Pain Tolerance
Another puzzling occurrence is the connection between eye color and pain tolerance. Have blue eyes? You may not experience pain at the same intensity as someone with brown eyes. From studies of women in labor, women with dark-colored eyes experience greater sensitivity to pain while women with light-colored eyes have a higher pain tolerance. Scientists wonder if these findings could help discover a genetic cause of pain.
Risk 7: Vitiligo
An autoimmune disease that causes you to lose skin color in spots, vitiligo is more common in people with dark-colored eyes. People with blue eyes are the least likely to develop this condition. Research has found that certain genes that give an individual blue eye color also lowers the risk of vitiligo.