Tag Archives: OCA2

Does Eye Color Affect Eyesight?

For the record, eye color has little to no bearing on visual acuity. However, it may tell a different story about a person’s optical profile.

Before delving into details, it’s important to know how eye colors are formed. Brown is the most common color, shared by over half of the world’s population. Brown eyes come from inheriting at least one dominant gene from one or both parents. Due to variations in genetic coding, it’s possible for both blue-eyed parents to have a brown-eyed offspring.

Perhaps the biggest impact eye color has on a person, other than defining his or her looks, is light sensitivity, or photophobia. Brown eyes are less light-sensitive because of the high presence of melanin in them, as produced by a gene known as OCA2. On the other hand, light-colored eyes can be more light-sensitive as they have less protective pigments.

This puts athletes with blue eyes at a slight disadvantage, as their reduced resistance can blind them while playing on a sunny day. The glare can also disrupt an affected person’s situational awareness, an essential skill in daily life that can save one from a roadside mishap.

Other causes of photophobia include contact lens irritation, corneal abrasion, and meningitis. Because of its possible implications, it is important to have this condition checked by an eye doctor, who can make a proper diagnosis and prescribe the right solution.