Dark eyes: Less likely to have macular degenerationESB Professional/Shutterstock
First and foremost, your eye color meaning can give insight into your overall eye health. People with light-colored eyes had twice the risk of age-related macular degeneration of those with dark or intermediate iris colors, found a study of 171 participants published in the journal Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology. “A dark iris blocks more ultraviolet light,” says optometrist Christopher Quinn, OD, secretary-treasurer of the American Optometric Association. “UV light is a risk factor for macular degeneration. Extra light that gets into the eyes of people with light-colored irises may cause them to have more retinal degeneration.”
Dark eyes: Lower melanoma riskAndrey_Popov/Shutterstock
Dark-colored irises might indicate you have a lower risk of skin cancer. In a study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, researchers took DNA samples and gathered sun exposure data from nearly 500 white children, ages 6 to 10, for four years. Children with the blue-eye gene were more likely to develop moles compared to children without the gene. (The number of moles people develop during childhood can predict the risk of melanoma in adulthood.) Other research has found that people with blue or green eyes are at greater risk of melanomas of the eye, likely because they have less light-absorbing pigment to shield the eyes from sun damage. But no matter what your eye color meaning may infer, it’s always a good idea to protect your eyes with large sunglasses or UV-absorbent contact lenses, says Quinn. Here are more shocking diseases that eye doctors find first.