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Blue, Brown, Green, or Hazel: Different Eye Colors Hint at Health Futures

Eye color depends on several genes inherited from your parents. Although you and your children may have similar eye colors, variations in genetics from one generation to the next may make your daughter’s eyes a slightly different shade of blue than your own. The pigment of your eyes may also determine whether you are prone to certain medical maladies. Researchers are not sure how or why, but several studies expound on the odds of getting diseases or disorders, notes Prevention.


People with dark eyes have a 1.5 to 2.5 times greater risk of developing cataracts later in life based on a 2000 study from the American Journal of Ophthalmology. Researchers recommend proper eye protection to help prevent cataracts, but dark-eyed people should take extra precautions with UVA and UVB sunglasses.

Liver Disease

A yellowish tint to the white parts of the eyes may indicate liver problems, hepatitis or liver disease, notes Berkeley Wellness. Color changes in the sclera, or the white portions of eyes, could also indicate age or ingestion of high levels of heavy metals.


Vitiligo, an autoimmune disease that causes blotches on the skin, is least prevalent in people with blue eyes and most common in people with brown eyes. A 2012 study examined 3,000 Caucasian participants to determine that 43 percent of vitiligo sufferers had brown eyes versus 27 percent for blue eyes. The reverse is usually true for Caucasians, wherein blue eyes are most common versus brown.


Blue-eyed humans may be more prone to melanoma, the exact opposite of vitiligo. Scientists believe the genes that protect against vitiligo could have a greater risk for melanoma.


People with dark eyes could have a greater sensitivity to the effects of alcohol. People with black or brown eyes tend to drink less, according to a 2001 survey. Participants with lighter eyes had more incidences of alcohol abuse and drinking.

Pain Threshold

A 2014 study from the American Pain Society shows women with lighter-colored eyes could tolerate pain better than those with darker eyes. Women were asked about pain levels before and after giving birth to ascertain the data for this study.

Macular Degeneration

Lighter eyes have a higher risk for macular degeneration in people over 50. This disease causes damage to the retina and gradually makes eyesight worse.

Eye Diseases

Eye diseases in general occur more often in people with lighter-colored eyes, according to a German study. As part of overall health, people with lighter-colored eyes should take protective measures with regular eye exams and other medical tests.

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