Laser Can Turn Brown Eyes Blue

Laser Can Turn Brown Eyes BlueLaser Can Turn Brown Eyes Blue

A laser treatment that can turn brown eyes blue is available thanks to a California-based company called Stroma Medical... as long as you don’t mind having a laser aimed at your eyeball. The procedure is basically plastic surgery for the eyes.

Blue eyes have long been a trait of attractive people, but only 17 percent of the world’s population has naturally occurring blue eyes. Up until now, colored contacts have been the most accessible way to change the eye color.

“The fundamental principle is that under every brown eye is a blue eye,” company chairman Gregg Homer told CNN. “The only difference between a brown eye and a blue eye is this very thin layer of pigment on the surface.”

“If you take that pigment away, then the light can enter the stroma -- the little fibers that look like bicycle spokes in a light eye - and when the light scatters it only reflects back the shortest wavelengths and that’s the blue end of the spectrum,” Homer explained.

The procedure takes about 20 seconds, but the effects aren’t immediate. The laser disturbs the layer of pigment on the eye and the body removes the layer over the next few weeks.

The United States has not approved the laser treatment yet, but Stroma Medical claims to have completed 17 surgeries in Mexico and 20 in Costa Rica. And the company maintains the procedure is safe. “It’s difficult to injure someone with this laser because the energy is so low,” he said.


Dr. Saj Khan, an ophthalmologist at the London Eye Hospital said he has some concerns about using a laser to burn off a layer of one of the body’s most sensitive organs.

“The main concern with any procedure that involves releasing pigment inside the eye is that the pigment can clog up the normal drainage channels which can in turn cause the pressure inside the eye to go up,” Khan said. “If that happens significantly enough, for long enough, it’s how patients develop glaucoma.”

“(The) theory has some sense to it, but without seeing long-term outcomes and without seeing patients that have been treated in this way I wouldn’t commit myself to it,” Khan said.

“It’s not a goal of our company to promote blue eyes,” Homer said. “From my experience what most people are after is the translucence of the blue eye rather than the color of the blue eye.”