What is the meaning of Eye Color?

Last updated date: 25-Aug-2022


14 mins read

What is Eye color? 

eye color

The quantity of melanin the human body produces determines the color of an individual's eyes.

Their skin, hair, and eyes are colored by a pigment called melanin. The color of the eyes is mostly determined by the genes for eye color. The iris, or colored component of the eye, comes in various hues, from very light brown to pale blue or gray. There are no two people to have eyes that are the same color.

The colored portion of the eye that encircles the pupil is scientifically called the iris. The color of one's iris is referred to as the eye color, and the tiny dark aperture in the middle is the pupil. Two layers make up the iris. The quantity of pigment (melanin) in the top layer of the skin determines the eye color (stroma). The back layer of the iris has brown pigment in almost everyone's eyes, including those with blue or green eyes.

The fingerprint is similar to the hue of the eyes. Nobody else in the entire world has the same eyes as another person because the iris has a certain amount of melanin that is only found inside.


Genetics for Eye color - Eye color dominance

Genetics for eye color

Considering the fact that no pair of eyes is identical to another, have you ever wondered which eye color is dominant?

There are multiple studies that state that there are three primary eye colors: dark brown, green, and blue. In recent years, the usage of more and more colors has been criticized as overly simple. The most prevalent eye color worldwide is brown; blue and gray are the next most popular; green eyes are the rarest. As previously mentioned, the amount of melanin, a pigment found in the iris, is the primary determinant of eye color. More melanin is present in the iris when the eyes are darker and vice versa. Blue eyes are a result of low melanin levels or lack thereof. 

The amount of melanin present in the body as a whole controls the hue of the skin, eyes, and hair.

The child's eye color may be completely different from the parent's eye color. However, if both parents have brown eyes, the child will probably have brown eyes, as well. It was once thought that a single gene controlled eye color. The inheritance system was straightforward, with brown eyes taking precedence over blue eyes. This theory held that parents of blue-eyed children could not have brown-eyed children.

Recent research has demonstrated how oversimplified this concept was. Given that numerous genes contribute to eye color, the inheritance of eye color is a more complicated process. While a child's eye color may frequently be anticipated by the parents' and other relatives' eye colors, genetic variances can, occasionally, produce unexpected results. Numerous studies have found that the HERC2 and OCA2 genes are primarily responsible for determining eye color. However, at least ten more genes also impact eye color.

Eye color is influenced by intricate gene connections. This enables two people with blue eyes to have children with brown eyes.

The genetic calculator is based on a straightforward model that accounts for two eye color genes and can be used to explain how eye color is inherited (brown, blue, and green). In actuality, the genetics of eye color is much more nuanced. This indicates that although not everyone can use the eye color calculator, many can. The genetic calculator keeps notes of grandparents on each side in addition to parents for more accurate findings. According to this concept, brown predominates over green and blue, green predominates over blue, and blue is finally recessive, meaning dominant genes suppress it.


Eye color determination

The amount of melanin one's body produces affects the color of their eyes. It is a naturally occurring pigment that gives skin, hair, and eyes their color.

Melanin is produced by melanocytes, which are skin cells. Different levels of pigment are produced by each person's melanocytes. People with lighter eyes are those whose skin cells produce less melanin. Eyes are darker in those whose skin cells produce more melanin.

A single gene, according to scientists, was responsible for eye color. They believed that a person's melanin levels were determined by a straightforward inheritance pattern. For instance, they thought that two parents with blue eyes would be unable to conceive a child with brown eyes. Scientists today are aware that the inheritance pattern is more intricate. The eye color is influenced by a variety of genes. One's eye color is influenced by the eye color of their parents and other family members. Sometimes a person's eyes are a different eye color from everyone else in their family due to genetic changes.


How many Eye colors are there? And which are the Eye color names and the Eye color types?

eye color types

The following is an eye color list, including common and rare existing eye colors. 

  • Eye color brown

The most distinctive eye color is brown. More melanin is present in people with brown eyes, and more than 50% of the world's population has brown eyes.

  • Eye color green

Due to their eye color rarity, green-eyed people are thought to have a bright attitude on life, be very passionate in their relationships, and have a natural curiosity about the natural world.

  • Eye color blue

Those who have blue eyes don't indeed have blue pigment in their skin. The only reason the iris seems blue is because of how eye color lightening reflects. Less melanin in the eye means less light absorption.

The light is scattered by collagen fibers in the eye, and when it reflects off the environment, it gives the appearance of blue eyes. Because their eyes have less pigment to shield them from harsh light, those with lighter skin tones may be more susceptible to light. Because of the eye color rareness, studies show that only 8% of the total population has blue eyes.

  • Eye color hazel

Hazel's eyes are familiar—5% of people have them. Despite being uncommon, hazel eyes are widespread, particularly in Europe and the United States. Hazel has flecks of gold, green, and brown in the center and is a light or yellowish-brown tint overall.

  • Eye color amber

This distinctive eye color is only present in about 5% of the world's population. Amber lacks any flecks of gold, green, or brown and is a golden yellow or coppery tint. They should not be confused with hazel eyes.

  • Eye color black

While some people may appear to have black irises, this is not the case. Instead, the eyes of people with black eyes are very dark brown, almost as dark as the pupil.

  • Eye color grey/ eye color white

Grey eyes are uncommon—less than 1% of persons have them. Northern and Eastern Europe are the regions where most persons with grey eyes live. According to researchers, there is less melanin in grey eyes than in blue eyes.

  • Eye color yellow

Eye and skin yellowing are virtually always signs of a medical issue that requires medical treatment. Anyone with yellow eyes should get in touch with a doctor right away or get emergency care so potentially fatal complications like organ damage can be avoided.

  • Eye color red

Little or no melanin is present in the skin, hair, and irises of people with albinism. People with albinism frequently have light blue eyes. Rarely the blood vessels can be seen, giving their eyes a pink or crimson appearance, and their irises are evident due to a lack of melanin.


Eye color by percentage

After determining their eye color palette, many people wonder how rare their eye color is. According to the eye color rarity chart and multiple studies, the approximate percentages for every eye color are:

  • 45%- brown eyes;
  • 27%- blue eyes;
  • 18%- hazel eyes;
  • 9%- green eyes;
  • 1%- grey eyes and other eye colors.


What eye color is the most common? 

The fact that brown eyes are the most prevalent eye color worldwide indeed is not surprising. A staggering 55 to 79 percent of people on the planet have brown eyes. However, there are various colors of brown, from light brown to dark chocolate. It's interesting to note that Southeast Asia, East Asia, and Africa have the highest prevalence of dark brown eyes. West Asia, Europe, and the Americas are where one can find light brown tints most frequently.


What eye color is the rarest?

Out of the most common eye colors, green is considered to be the rarest, yet grey and other eye colors caused by genetic mutations or medical conditions are rarer. 


What eye color do I have?

In order to determine one's exact eye color palette, eye color tests are available. As eye color patterns are unique and more colors and involved, artists consider eye color drawings extremely difficult to perform accurately. 


Can eye color change? How does eye color change?

eye color change

Throughout a person's life, their eye color typically remains constant. Changes in eye color can result from certain diseases and ailments. One's eye color may occasionally seem to shift a little. For instance, if they're wearing a blue shirt, their eyes may appear to be a deeper shade of blue. Even wearing under eye color corrector can influence one's eye color appearance when light bounces off the objects, as the colors in the environment shift. Some individuals have a darker ring of color surrounding their iris. With time, it may diminish and lose some of its prominences.

  • Can eye color change with mood?

Human pupils' sizes alter in tandem with the various emotional states. The body responds in more ways than one may initially understand when they're pleased, sad, irritated, thrilled, or afraid. The human body releases a hormone when one experiences these various emotions, which results in a change in pupil size. Typically, the eye color will look more vivid than usual. The eyes may get red when one cries out of sadness, which will make them appear brighter.


  • Can eye color change with age?

The eye's natural color develops in infancy and doesn't change throughout life. However, in a small proportion of individuals, eye color can naturally change with age, becoming either notably darker or lighter. While melanin levels typically remain constant throughout life, a few factors have the potential to modify them irrevocably.


  • Eye color lenses/ eye color contacts

Plano contacts, sometimes known as decorative lenses, are frequently used as fashion or costume embellishments, particularly around Halloween. Plano contacts, for instance, can be used to simulate white irises and cat eyes. Although one can purchase ornamental lenses offline or online, the American Optometric Association advises waiting until getting a prescription. All contact lenses are classified as medical devices by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), so a valid prescription is required to buy them. When misused, decorative lenses pose the same health concerns as corrective lenses. An individual can risk receiving faulty or dirty lenses if they purchase corrective or plano contacts without a prescription or from an unapproved vendor. Wearing them increases the risk of having blurry vision or vision loss, itchy eyes, allergic reactions, and even blindness. In cases of experiencing eye redness, pain, or any discharge from the eyes after wearing color lenses, it is essential to consult a medical professional immediately. These may all be symptoms and signs of having an eye infection, which can cause severe complications in lack of treatment.


  • Eye color-changing drops

Products that help lighten the color of the eyes include whitening eye color drops. They have established a new trend in the realm of beauty as a result of their effectiveness. These products make it easy for folks to achieve the eye color of their dreams. Used as eye color changers, these drops work by halting the production of melanin in the eyes, giving one the desired results. Once the melanin in the eyes stops producing, the eye color will begin to lighten. The fact that the effects of these drops are permanent means one doesn't need to use this medication continuously, which is a significant advantage of these goods. They can cease using them once their eye color has been lightened to the appropriate shade.

Although these drops can't totally change the color of a person's eyes, they can still have a significant impact on how they look as a whole. Many individuals have the idea that these items miraculously change their eye color to a lighter shade, but they actually just bring out the lighter eye colors that are already there but which are masked by the dark eye tones.


  • Surgery for eye color change

The earliest medical issues and traumatic eye injuries led to the development of iris implant surgery. These include aniridia, in which the iris is completely absent, and coloboma, in which only a portion of the iris is absent. A small corneal incision is made during this treatment, and an artificial iris made of silicone that has been folded to suit the slit is then inserted. The artificial iris is then spread out behind the cornea, covering the actual iris. Usually, a local anesthetic will be applied. The eye color change surgery has grown in popularity for cosmetic reasons despite its medical uses. Despite the fact that the natural iris of the eye usually works, many people choose to have surgery to change their eye color.

According to research, patients who underwent cosmetic iris implant surgery are more susceptible to problems, including vision loss or blindness, cataracts (the clear lens becomes blurry), injury and swelling of the cornea, and uveitis (eye inflammation leading to redness and pain, as well as blurry vision).

Medical researchers have not yet thoroughly examined the controversial and new technique of cosmetic eye color surgery. There is little to no proof that the method is reliable and secure. The procedure has not completed clinical trials or been examined by an American regulatory body, which is the reason why people living in the United States of America have to travel abroad to have this operation as a result.

Usually, eye color change surgery costs approximately $5,000 to $7,000. A prosthetic iris is spread out over the native iris by the surgeon. It typically takes around five to ten minutes for each eye. For cosmetic reasons, patients tend to be delighted with the eye color that changes with the procedure.


What Eye color are babies typically born with? Eye colors for newborns

Eye colors for baby

Blue or brown eyes are common among newborns. Yet any eye color is possible in babies. Melanin continues to form as a newborn grows. If a newborn with blue eyes produces more melanin in their irises, their eyes may darken or change color to brown or hazel. The first year of a baby's life is often when this transformation occurs. However, it may take several years for eyes to develop the hue that will remain with them throughout their lives.

Calculating the eye color probability for the baby, the parents can easily look up a chart for eye color that uses their eye colors as genetic material, yet the results may not be accurate. 


People with different Eye colors

The iris is colored differently when a condition medically called heterochromia is present. One eye of those with this disease could include several hues (for example, the iris may be half one color and half another, or perhaps each of their eyes is a different color).

Heterochromia typically originates from a benign gene alteration. Since it naturally occurs infrequently, there aren't any accompanying symptoms or health issues. Rarely an illness or injury, like an eye tumor, can cause heterochromia, yet the condition may also result from a disorder known as Horner's syndrome.


Conditions affecting one's Eye color

Conditions affecting one's eye color

  • Albinism

Oculocutaneous albinism (OCA), a series of genetic illnesses where there is little to no production of the pigment melanin, is generally referred to as albinism. Because melanin is involved in the growth of the optic nerves as well, albinos experience vision issues. With albinism, eyebrows and eyelashes are frequently pale. Age-related changes in eye color are possible and can range from extremely pale blue to brown. Irises are relatively translucent due to a lack of pigment. This indicates that light cannot be entirely blocked from entering the eye by the irises. As a result, in certain circumstances, particularly light-colored eyes may appear red.

  • Cataracts

The lens inside the eye becomes clouded as a result of this disorder. The eyes may seem milky white or gray due to cataracts.

  • Corneal arcus

This disorder, which is typical in older adults, causes a light gray or blue ring to form around the cornea (a clear layer that extends over the iris). The rings are made of lipids (fatty substances). A high cholesterol level may be indicated by corneal arcus. When it affects people under 40, healthcare professionals refer to this condition as arcus juveniles.

  • Pigment dispersion syndrome

Due to this disorder, iris pigment can come loose and float into other areas of the eye. In the regions with less pigment, the iris appears lighter.

  • Waardenburg syndrome

Waardenburg syndrome is a rare genetic condition characterized by a loss of eye, skin, and hair pigmentation.



eye colors

The iris is defined as the colored area of the human eye. Melanin is a brown pigment that gives color to eyes and skin. Distinct pigment concentrations result in different eye hues. Brown eyes are currently the most prevalent eye color worldwide, yet many other eye colors are possible, including hazel, amber, blue, green, and grey.

It is well known that many people desire to change their eye color, and they can do it by wearing eye color contacts, yet it is imperative to acknowledge the health risks and possible consequences of wearing them. Additionally, another method to change one's eye color is a medical procedure called iris implant surgery, which was initially designed to cure certain medical conditions and illnesses.


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