Eye colour is a particularly unique phenomenon, and no two individual’s eyes are exactly the same colour and shape. An individual’s eye colour is determined by the amount of melanin – or pigment – present in the irises of their eyes.
Adult eye colour can be established between 3 and 6 months of age. However, in some, this can take much longer.
Individuals with the darkest brown eyes have the most melanin – or pigmentation – in their eyes. Brown eyed individuals make up over 55% of the overall population, making brown the most common eye colour of all.
Hazel eyes are sometimes confused with green eyes, but they are actually closer to brown eyes. Hazel eyes have less pigment and contain more greenish/yellow tint. Hazel eyes often appear to ‘change’ in colour depending on the surrounding light, appearing more green, amber or brown by times.
Blue eyes are present in approximately 8% of the world’s population overall. Blue eyes are the result of an absence of pigment in the iris. Blue eyes are caused by a scattering of light as it is reflected off of the eye’s iris. Blue eyes are described as ‘recessive’ genetically, and are more common in people of Northern European descent.
True green eyes are the most rare eye colour, making up approximately 2% of the world’s population. Those with green eyes have mild pigmentation, which appears golden. This, combined with the scattering of light as it is reflected off of the iris, causes the eye to appear green in colour.
Amber eyes are – of course – yellow in colour, as a result of a coloured pigment called lipochrome. Amber eyes are quite rare as well, and can vary in colour from a golden yellow to a copper.
No matter your eye colour, it is important to have your eyes tested regularly – particularly if you have a family or personal history of eye disease or other health conditions.