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Posted by on Oct 3, 2015 in Tell Me Why |

What Gives My Eyes Their Color?

What Gives My Eyes Their Color?

The colored part, or iris, of your eye gets its color from a coloring pigment called melanin. Whether melanin colors your eyes brown, green, blue or gray is determined by hereditary information contained in your genes; eye color is a trait you inherit from your parents.

The iris works with the pupil of the eye to make sure the right amount of light gets into your eyes for good vision. People with brown eyes can see as well as people with blue, green or gray eyes. But the paler your eyes are, the more sensitive they are towards the bright light.

The more pigment you have, the darker your eyes will be. Besides giving your eyes color, melanin helps protect them from the sun. Because they have less pigment, light eyes are much more sensitive to the sun’s harmful rays than brown or black eyes.

Your eyes begin changing from the time you were born. Newborn babies don’t have melanin in their eyes, so they begin life with blue or almost colorless eyes. The melanin gradually increases, and by about three years of age, their eyes will have darkened to their true color.

Most people in the world will end up with brown eyes. The second most common colors are blue and gray, and green is the rarest color.

Content for this question contributed by Cindy Tysick, resident of North Tonawanda, Niagara County, New York, USA