Blue eye color is something craved by all and only 17% of the global population has blue eyes. People use contact lenses or get artificial iris implants to get that blue eye color. That might all change very soon as a new surgery allows you to turn brown eyes into blue with just a 20 seconds surgery.
This 20 seconds surgery is a laser procedure that eliminates melanin, the pigment responsible for hair and skin color as well. This pigment is removed from the surface of the iris which allows light to enter and scatter inside the stroma of the eye. These are the fibers that are seen with light-colored eyes.
The procedure is introduced by Stroma Medical, a California based company. “The fundamental principle is that under every brown eye is a blue eye,” Dr. Gregg Homer told CNN, back in 2015, adding that there is no actual blue pigmentation in the eye. “The only difference between a brown eye and a blue eye is this very thin layer of pigment on the surface. If you take that pigment away, then the light can enter the stroma – the little fibers that look like bicycle spokes in a light eye – and when the light scatters it only reflects back the shortest wavelengths, and that’s the blue end of the spectrum.”
The 20 seconds surgery sounds attractive but it does not really remove the layer completely. It only disrupts the fragile layer of pigment on the iris. This causes the body to start removing the tissue naturally and even though the procedure takes 20 seconds, the eyes don’t appear blue for several weeks as the body releases the pigment gradually.
“It’s difficult to work out a way to injure someone with this laser because the energy is so low,” Homer said. The laser only treats the iris and does not enter any part of the eye where the nerves affecting the vision are located. Stroma Medical hopes to develop the safest and most convenient procedure for this problem. It has still not gotten approval from the regulatory bodies in the US.
The medical board of the company states that the surgery is safe according to initial testing but only 37 patients have undergone the surgery so far of which, 17 were in Mexico and the other 20 in Costa Rica. The surgery comes at a steep price of $5,000. Ophthalmologists are skeptical as this is an irreversible procedure. They fear that the melanin pigment is released inside the eye and could cause blockage but the company has assured that the particles are way too small to cause any kind of blockage.
“It’s not a goal of our company to promote blue eyes,” Stroma Medica’s Dr. Gregg Homer told CNN. “From my experience what most people are after is the translucence of the blue eye rather than the color of the blue eye. The people who seem most vigilant about pursuing this always have a story about being young and in the presence of a sibling or a friend who had light eyes and the friend is being told how beautiful their eyes are, and it sticks with them. That seems to be something they’ve carried around with them. Would it be better for them to get over it? Probably. All your problems don’t go away because you’ve changed your eye color, but I do believe that people like to express themselves a certain way and it’s nice when they have the freedom to do that.”
You can watch the video below: