Are Blue-Eyed People More at Risk of Eye Diseases?

Are Blue-Eyed People More at Risk of Eye Diseases?

You may have heard that if you have blue eyes, you’re at a higher risk of developing eye diseases. It doesn’t seem fair – after all, you have no control over what color of eyes you were born with. There is some truth behind this supposition, 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, unfortunately, at a higher risk for developing certain eye diseases. But what specific diseases are these, and what can be done to prevent them? Let’s discuss a few of the options below.

Macular Degeneration

People who are born blue-eyed are at higher risk of developing age-related macular degeneration. 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. So, this 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. Luckily, you can increase your antioxidant intake to help prevent macular degeneration. If your child is born with blue eyes, this is something you might want to think about doing as soon as possible. The more you invest in your eyesight from a young age, the better your vision will be later in life.

Eye Melanoma

Unfortunately, there is a more serious eye condition that blue-eyed people need to watch for. 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. One area is race, as some studies show that Caucasians are more susceptible than other races. Age and gender also affect these statistics. 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.

Are Blue-Eyed People More at Risk of Eye Diseases?Reduce Your Risks

Since blue-eyed people are at a slightly higher risk for these two diseases, 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 outside during the day. This will protect your eyes from 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. This will also give you the maximum amount of time for treatment. You then won’t be as likely to 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. You are also at higher risk of debveloping 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. Quitting is the best thing you can do for your overall health.

Limit the amount of strain you put on your eyes. When you’re working on the computer, blink a lot and take frequent breaks. You should also adjust the brightness of your computer monitor. This will eliminate glares on the screen to keep your eyes from getting too strained. Digital Eye Strain is something we all need to worry about as we become more and more dependent on technology.

Eye-Healthy Nutrition

Eating eye-healthy foods can also reduce your risks for many different eye diseases and vision problems. Make sure to include a lot of fruits and vegetables and healthy meats in your diet. This will ensure you give your eyes all the vitamins and other nutrients they need to stay strong and ward off any diseases.

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. Eating a healthy amount of these on a regular basis can do wonders for your eyesight later on.

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. Our Ocu-Plus formula makes taking all of these vitamins easy in one convenient tablet.

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. Eat right, visit your eye doctor and follow our other suggestions to preserve your vision for life.

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Join or Start the Discussion

  1. Avatar for Tyler Sorensen Paul Guest says:

    you sound a bit mad

  2. Avatar for Tyler Sorensen Lee says:

    Why? I have blue eyes and any type of light bothers me and has all my life. Car headlights coming in my direction actually cause pain to my eyes. Even light at dusk is very bothersome, although my experience doesn’t necessarily mean all blue-eyed persons are sensitive to light. Even though I’ve worn glasses since my early 20s, I was just diagnosed with Macular Degeneration, which because of its advanced stage, the doctor says started at a young age. The question and response is not as “mad” as you may think.

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About the Author

Avatar for Tyler Sorensen

Tyler Sorensen is the President and CEO of Rebuild Your Vision. Formerly, Tyler studied Aeronautics (just like his brother) with the dream of becoming an airline pilot, however, after 9/11 his career path changed. After graduating top of his class with a Bachelor of Science in Informational Technologies and Administrative Management, he joined Rebuild Your Vision in 2002. With the guidance of many eye care professionals, including Behavioral Optometrists, Optometrists (O.D.), and Ophthalmologists (Eye M.D.), Tyler has spent nearly two decades studying the inner workings of the eye and conducting research.


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