LASIK has been used traditionally to correct certain eye conditions such as astigmatism, nearsightedness and farsightedness. Many who undergo this procedure no longer have to rely on contacts or glasses to be able to see and even drive safely. LASIK has been extremely successful with more than 20 million people worldwide undergoing the procedure.
As with many medical advancements, it is often discovered that a medication or a procedure can have multiple functions. When it comes to LASIK, Stroma Medical was able to use the technology to potentially change a person’s eye color.
Why are Blue Eyes so Desired?
There are several theories as to why blue eyes are seen to be more desirable by some. One theory is that blue eyes stand out more. Others argue that pupil dilation, which signifies if the person is attracted to another person, is easier to see. Many who vigilantly seek solutions for their darker eyes also often have a close family member or friend who was told repeatedly that their blue eyes were beautiful. If this is heard often enough, these statements can stick with the person.
Those who want to change their eye color have to rely on colored contacts to give them the effect they want. However, this new LASIK procedure can potentially provide a permanent solution in the near future.
Can LASIK really Change Your Eye Color?
In short, yes. LASIK can change the color of brown eyes to blue. This is because all eyes are fundamentally the same with the difference being that brown eyes have a layer of pigment on the surface that covers the blue iris. By eliminating the brown melanin, or pigmentation, the eye would appear blue.
The procedure, developed by Stroma Medical, simply causes a disruption to the pigment layer. Over a period of a few weeks, the body naturally removes the pigment to show the blue underneath.
Is the Procedure Safe?
Preliminary studies have shown no safety concerns when it comes to the procedure. This is due to the use of a low intensity laser that only treats the iris. However, there is still some skepticism from some ophthalmologists as there are no long-term outcomes available. The main concern is that the pigment could clog the drainage channels as the body eliminates it. This could lead to a rise in pressure that could result in glaucoma.
Stroma Medical claimed that the risk of glaucoma is very low as the pigment particles are too fine to clog those drainage channels. Any problems that do occur are likely to be easily fixed. As with any medical procedure, however, there is always going to be a short risk. Because the technology is new and not many individuals have undergone the procedure, the exact risks are still unknown.
Can I get this Procedure?
Although the preliminary studies have shown that this type of laser eye surgery is safe for patients, very few individuals have had the opportunity to undergo the procedure. Just under 40 people in Mexico and Costa Rica have had the procedure done.
Until clinical trials have been completed, those who were interested in permanently changing their eye color will not be able to undergo this procedure in the United States. However, the company expects to have the clinical trials completed within a few years. Once the procedure is available, it is estimated that it would cast somewhere in the ballpark of $5,000.
Improving Eye Technology
Even though this procedure is not currently available or easily accessed, researchers and surgeons are hard at work when it comes to improving the human eye. Whether that improvement is in the person’s vision or the eye’s actual appearance, it is interesting to know that we have the ability to improve not only the way we see the world, but also how we see ourselves.