Are Blue Eyes More Sensitive to Light? 5 Fascinating Facts

are blue eyes more sensitive to light
Image by Anja from Pixabay Copyright 2016

Eyes in shades of blue have always been a matter of fascination and intrigue and have led to the question – are blue eyes more sensitive to light?

This is a theory that both the medical and scientific community along with the general mass has questioned and examined for a long time.

You, like many others, most likely have always wondered – are blue eyes more sensitive to light compared to eyes of other colors?

Well, with these facts you can learn all about the interesting details of blue eyes and if the idea and question – are blue lights more sensitive to light, a myth or a reality?

1. Are Blue Eyes More Sensitive to Light? 5 Fascinating Facts

Blue eyes are a topic of fascination among many. They are rare and often compared to beautiful things like sapphires and the sea. While eyes in shades of brown, black, gray, and green are also beautiful, for some reason blue eyes have always got the most attention.

But even though those baby blues are pretty to look at, they come with hurdles as well. This brings us to the matter of discussion and the primary question – are blue eyes more sensitive to light?

Blue-eyed Boy
Image by James Timothy Peters from Pixabay Copyright 2015

1.1) Behind the Blues

Are you aware that blue eyes do not, in reality, have any blue pigment? The reason they appear this beautiful hue is because of the way light reacts with the formation of the iris.

The first membrane of a blue iris does not possess any kind of pigment. This absence of pigment brings forward the explanation for the matter at hand – are blue eyes more sensitive to light?

So, in short, it is the lack or absence of any kind of pigment which is the reason behind blue eyes’ comparative sensitivity to light.

1.2) The Mystery of Melanin

Melanin is the pigment that aids in the protection of the retina from UltraViolet damage. The pigment called melanin which also dictates skin color is therefore fundamental for the proper protection of eyes from UV light rays. Eyes that are in lighter hues – green, hazel, blue, and gray are lacking in these pigments compared to darker irises like dark brown eyes which possess more melanin.

Blue eyes – especially the light blue ones are therefore much more sensitive to light and are more likely to be harmed by UV rays due to the absence of this protective filter caused by less pigment or less melanin.

UV Rays
Image by Ulrike Mai from Pixabay Copyright 2014

1.3) The Partly Fictional Side of the Story

The link between the color of the eye and sensitivity to light is part truth, part myth. In reality, one cannot surely indicate someone’s light sensitivity based entirely on the hue of the iris.

However, blue-eyed people, those who possess delicate irises are probably likely to have expanded light permeability and therefore more light sensitivity. What everyone seems to forget is that the part behind everyone’s irides is, in reality, brown! That membrane is generally sufficient to absorb light and fend off photosensitivity – so in that case it does not matter if the eyes are blue, green, gray, or brown.

1.4) The Origin of Blue Eyes and How Rare it is

It is believed that in the beginning, all human beings had brown eyes but studies by researchers at the University of Copenhagen, show that a genetic mutation or transformation in a sole individual in Europe six thousand to ten thousand years back resulted in the evolution of blue eyes.

Even though many infer that blue eyes are a fairly rare attribute, researches show that they are, in truth, pretty not that unusual – at least in western countries. It is assessed that roughly eight to ten percent of the earth’s population has blue eyes.

Different Eye Colors
Source: Depositphotos

Which might seem very rare but is more common when compared to other colors like hazel eyes (5%), green eyes (2%), and gray eyes (1%).

1.5) Photophobia and Light Sensitivity

If you are asking the question – are blue eyes more sensitive to light, then you might want to look for more reasons for light sensitivity.

Among those reasons, you will most likely find the term “photophobia” at the very top.

It is distress felt in the eyes in bright light. The cornea enables light to infiltrate the eye and as the light goes through the eye the iris alters its contour by enlarging and allowing more light through or compressing and admitting less light through to transform the size of the pupil.

2. FAQs on “Are Blue Eyes More Sensitive to Light?”

Still, have more queries on the legend of the blue eyes? Read on to find the answers to the most frequently asked questions related to – “are blue eyes more sensitive to light?”

2.1) Why are blue eyes more sensitive to light and how sensitive are light eyes?

The most probable reason why blue eyes are more sensitive to light is due to the lack of the pigment Melanin in the iris. This is a common occurrence in all light-colored eyes and can be seen in green and gray eyes as well.

2.2) What are some of the things blue-eyed people can do or use to protect their eyes?

People with light blue eyes or any light-colored eyes should wear sunglasses for better protection from bright lights, and harmful UV rays of the sun.

Image by congerdesign from Pixabay Copyright 2014

Some contact lenses are useful as well. However, if light sensitivity is becoming a big issue and causing too much discomfort, make sure to contact a health professional or eye doctor and seek medical help as soon as possible.

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Endnotes: A New Vision on Blue Eyes

As you can see, there are many things to know and learn – some facts, some fiction about eyes of different colors and their sensitivity to light.

Blue Eyes
Image by Petra from Pixabay Copyright 2021

The truth about blue eyes and light sensitivity can be surmised to be part truth and part fiction. Lighter-colored eyes do suffer more in the presence of light and are more susceptible to harm compared to dark hues and that is due to the lack of the pigment of melanin.

So, if one has to give a conclusion on the matter of “are blue eyes more sensitive to light?”, the short answer will be – Yes, compared to dark-colored eyes, blue eyes are certainly more sensitive to light.

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An avid reader of all kinds of stories and fiction, Joshita has a Master's in English Literature and has written on various fascinating topics across many sites. She wishes to travel all across the world and complete her long and exciting bucket list. Here, you can join her while she writes all about books, movies, traveling, health, fashion, and many other wonderful things to know, learn, and love.
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