Wish you had blue eyes? It turns out that changing your eye color from brown to blue may not be all that complicated. An in-the-works procedure is currently doing it with low-level laser technology.
“Contact lenses are temporary, and iris implants are extremely unsafe and have led to severe eye injuries, including blindness,” says Dr. Gregg Homer, chairman and chief scientific officer of Stroma Medical.
The company has performed the color-changing treatment on nearly 40 patients throughout Mexico and Costa Rica so far, according to a recent CNN report.
The procedure uses a laser to strip brown eyes of their dark pigment. According to Homer, blue eyes naturally lie under every pair of dark eyes. “When the pigment is removed, the underlying fibers are revealed, and the iris generates blue light,” he says.
The treatment has yet to receive approval by the United States. While Homer stands by its safety, that hasn’t stopped some critics from expressing concerns about the potentially unknown side effects of releasing pigment into the eye. The main worry has been over the risk of developing pigmentary glaucoma; something Stroma says it has not encountered in its studies.
Stroma reports that it has completed limited human study at this point, but that no adverse effects have been reported. On the horizon is completion of its pilot and pivotal human clinical studies.
The procedure, which applies a low-energy laser to the entire surface of the iris, takes about 30 seconds per eye. “This far in our studies, patients have reported no pain or discomfort during or after the procedure,” says Homer, adding that it takes about two weeks for the color to fully change. “For about the first week following the procedure, the iris might darken slightly. Over the following week, it will lighten gradually.”
According to Homer, the final result is indistinguishable from naturally blue eyes.