Many people are born with eye colors they are not content with and may wish to change them, but the procedures used to achieve these changes can be highly dangerous. In this article, we will explore the options available for those looking to permanently alter their eye color and the severe risks associated with these procedures.
Understanding the Natural Color of Eyes
The color of a person’s eyes is determined by genetics and can vary from brown, black, green, blue, hazel, or a combination of these. While genetics play a significant role, eye color may also change slightly during the first few years of a person’s life, with many babies’ eyes darkening over time.
The Dangers of Permanent Eye Color Change
For those dissatisfied with their natural eye color, there are three invasive and expensive options available: corneal tattooing, laser depigmentation, and iris implant surgery
. However, these procedures are not without severe risks and are not covered by insurance.
Corneal Tattooing: Risks and Procedure
Corneal tattooing, also known as laser keratopigmentation, involves the use of a laser to inject colored dye into the cornea, concealing the true color of the iris. Although the procedure is unlikely to cause pain, it carries various risks such as uneven eye color, vision changes, and allergic reactions to the dye. The cost of corneal tattooing is estimated to be around $10,000 for both eyes, and the recovery period lasts one week.
Laser Depigmentation: The Procedure and Recovery
Laser depigmentation targets the melanin in the iris to lighten eye color, involving multiple sessions to heat up the brown pigment and reveal the desired eye color. This procedure, while nearly painless, comes with its own set of risks and a recovery period of up to four weeks. The cost for laser depigmentation ranges from $5,000 to $7,000 for both eyes.
Iris Implant Surgery: The Riskiest Option
Iris implant surgery is the most invasive and risky method, involving the insertion of a prosthetic iris over the natural iris. This procedure carries a high risk of severe complications, including glaucoma, cataracts, infection, and even total blindness. The cost of iris implant surgery is approximately $10,000 for both eyes and is not approved by the FDA for cosmetic purposes.
The Safer Alternative: Cosmetic Contact Lenses
Before considering these dangerous procedures, individuals may opt for cosmetic contact lenses, which offer a safer and temporary way to change eye color. These lenses come in different types such as visibility, enhancement, and opaque, catering to various preferences and requiring a prescription from a doctor.
Expert Advice and Caution
Experts from The American Academy of Ophthalmology and other reputable ophthalmological organizations strongly discourage permanently changing eye color due to the high risks involved. They warn against the dangers of infection, vision changes, and the severe side effects these procedures can lead to.
While the desire to change one’s eye color is understandable, it is crucial to prioritize safety and consider the potential risks involved in the procedures available. The severe complications, including blindness, associated with corneal tattooing, laser depigmentation, and iris implant surgery serve as a stark reminder of the importance of making informed and cautious decisions when it comes to altering one’s appearance. Instead of resorting to these dangerous methods, individuals may want to explore safer alternatives such as cosmetic contact lenses, which offer a temporary way to experiment with different eye colors without compromising their eye health and vision.