You may have heard that if you have blue eyes you’re at a higher risk of developing eye diseases. There is some truth behind this, though it has been a matter of debate among scientists and medical professionals for a while. Some say that there is no indication that blue-eyed people are at any higher risk than brown-eyed people; others say the opposite.
So which side is actually correct? According to the majority of the research that has been done, blue-eyed people are at a higher risk for developing certain eye diseases.
The research shows that there is less pigment in blue eyes, and green eyes for that matter, than there is in brown eyes. This means more light is able to penetrate blue eyes. This makes lighter eyes more sensitive to light and is what makes people with blue eyes more likely to have age-related macular degeneration. Macular degeneration is caused when the light sensitive cells in the eyes start to die, which can eventually result in blindness.
There is a bit of research that mentions that blue-eyed people are more susceptible to developing eye melanoma, which is cancer of the eyes. However, there are a whole lot of other variables that can contribute to developing eye melanoma, such as race, which shows that Caucasians are more susceptible than other races; and age and gender, which shows that eye melanomas occur more commonly in older people and more often in men than women.
Blue-eyed people, as well as gray and green-eyed people, are also at higher risk for developing eye cancers than dark-eyed people. It goes back to the fact that there is less pigment in their eyes, which makes it easier for ultraviolet rays to harm them. If you have blue eyes or other light-colored eyes, you can take comfort in the fact that eye melanoma is a rare form of cancer that occurs in only about six out of one million people.
Reduce Your Risks
Since blue-eyed people are at a slightly higher risk, you will want to take some extra precautions to lower your risks of developing eye diseases. To start with, you should make sure to wear sunglasses whenever you’re out in the sun to protect your eyes from the harmful UV rays.
You should also have your eyes examined regularly so that if any problems arise they can be diagnosed as early as possible and treated so that you won’t suffer any permanent vision loss or problems. Adults up to age 35 should see an eye doctor every two years.
Once you hit 35 years old, you should see your eye doctor once a year because that is about the age when age-related diseases usually start developing. If your eye doctor suggests that you see him or her sooner or later than these recommendations then follow your doctor’s advice.
If you smoke, you are further increasing your risk for developing eye diseases, as well as many other diseases not related to your eyes. Smoking not only just increases the risk of these diseases, but it also makes diseases like cataracts, optic nerve damage, and macular degeneration develop faster.
Limit the amount of strain you put on your eyes. When you’re working on the computer, blink a lot, take breaks a lot, and adjust the brightness of your computer monitor and eliminate glares on the screen to keep your eyes from getting too strained.
Eye Healthy Nutrition
Eating eye-healthy foods can also reduce your risks for many different eye diseases and vision problems. If you make sure to include a lot of fruits and vegetables and healthy meats into your diet, then you will be sure to give your eyes all the vitamins and other nutrients they need to stay strong and ward off any diseases.
Just so you know, while all fruits and vegetables are healthy for you to eat, some of them have more benefits for your eye health than others. Green leafy vegetables and orange fruits and vegetables tend to have the highest amount of vitamins and nutrients that will help your eyesight.
You can also take supplements to ensure you are getting the amount of vitamins and nutrients that your eyes need. There are 17 vitamins and minerals in particular that benefit your eyes the most. They not only help to reduce your risk of developing eye diseases and other vision conditions, but they help to improve your overall eyesight as well.
If you have blue eyes, don’t let this information scare you in any way. As long as you do your best to take good care of your eyes, you shouldn’t let what might happen in the future affect what’s going on right now. It’s as simple as eating right and following the other suggestions listed above, especially getting regular eye exams done.