How Do You Get Lighter Eyes?


Quick Answer

The only way to change the eye's natural color permanently is with a surgical iris implant. Colored contact lenses can provide the temporary appearance of a lighter eye color, and complementary colors of eye makeup can emphasize lighter tones in dark eyes.

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Full Answer

Surgical iris implants work by sitting on top of the natural iris. The iris is completely covered by the implant, creating a permanent change in the patient's eye color. While the procedure is reversible, it is intended to be a long-term solution that lasts the wearer's entire life.

Cosmetic iris implants are not approved for use in the United States, and the procedure is illegal for American doctors to perform due to the risks associated with it. Patients wishing to undergo this surgery must do so overseas. The American Academy of Ophthalmology cautions against the procedure, citing cataracts, glaucoma, corneal scarring and permanent blindness as potential side effects.

In a small percentage of the population, eye color naturally darkens or lightens with age; this trait is genetic. Traumatic injury to the eye and diseases like pigmentary glaucoma can also cause changes to natural eye color. Pigmentary glaucoma causes melanin to move from the iris to the lens, lightening the eye's color and eventually causing blindness.

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