*We’ve all heard the saying, the eyes are the window to the soul. Well according to Rachel Bishop, MD, chief of the consult service section of the National Eye Institute, your eye color can reveal a lot more. For example, every wonder why your specific hazel hue looks so vastly different from your daughter’s? It’s because there’s more than a single gene involved. Plus, your eye color could dictate your risk for certain diseases and even predict your body’s tolerance for alcohol.
For instance – Did you know that dark-eyed people are more likely to have cataracts?
A study published in the year 2000 in the American Journal of Ophthalmology found that dark-eyed people had a 1.5 to 2.5 times greater risk of cataracts: a cloudy substance that appears over the pupil of the eye, or a clouding of the vision common with aging. And people with dark eyes are said to be at greater risk.
To help prevent cataracts you can protect your eyes from ultraviolet rays. But researchers recommend dark-eyed sunbathers take particular caution, like wearing sunglasses and a hat with a brim for starters.
Women with light eyes may better withstand pain.
Wow, this is interesting, yes? But don’t test this theory at home. Research findings presented at the 2014 annual meeting of the American Pain Society by anesthesiology professor Inna Belfer, MD, PhD, suggest women with light eyes may have a higher tolerance for pain and discomfort.
They studied a small group of women before and after giving birth, and found that the women with darker eyes exhibited more anxiety and sleep disturbances in response to the pain of the experience. Dark-eyed women also experienced a greater reduction in pain after receiving an epidural, suggesting more sensitivity to pain, according to a report by MedPage Today.
Vitiligo: It’s less common in blue-eyed people.
Well I guess actor Michael Ealy has nothing to worry about. At least where vitiligo is concerned. Nature published research findings on vitiligo in 2012 and found the autoimmune disease, which causes the loss of skin color in blotches, (Michael Jackson inadvertently helped bring awareness to this), was less common in people with blue eyes. Close to 3,000 vitiligo patients—all Caucasian— were involved in the research. 27% had blue eyes, 30% had green or hazel eyes, and 43% had brown eyes.
The researchers discovered that variations in two particular genes, TYR and OCA2, which play a role in blue eye color, also decrease risk for vitiligo, according to study author Richard A. Spritz, MD, director of the genomics programs at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.
People with dark eyes may be more sensitive to alcohol.
If your eyes are black or brown, you may not be able to hang with your liquor-guzzling blue- or green-eyed friends. According to a 2001 study published in Personality and Individual Differences higher self-reported alcohol use was among women with light eyes and more frequent alcohol abuse was seen among a group of light-eyed prisoners who were studied. The researchers concluded that dark-eyed folks may be more sensitive to alcohol and other drugs in general, which in layman terms means: you don’t have to drink as much to get a desired buzz.
There’s at least 3 more. Go here to learn what your eyes reveal as you age; if your eyes happen to change color, and which eye color may be more likely to have melanoma.