Inadequate melanin in iris responsible for blue eyes and it’s hereditary – Ophthalmologist explains

A Consultant Ophthalmologist at The Eye Doctors, Lagos, Dr. Abiola Oyeleye, gave details on the reason for blue eyes which she says is caused by lack of melanin in the iris.

The ophthalmologist said blue eye is a condition whereby the iris (coloured part of the eye) appears to be blue.

NEWSCASTARS.COM learnt that while speaking  in an interview with PUNCH Oyeleye said, “If there is little or no melanin in the iris, the person will have a blue iris. If there is a lot of melanin, the person will have a brown iris, in-between brown and blue. You have hazel or green-coloured eyes based on the amount of melanin within the iris.”

While noting that there is no treatment for the eye condition, Oyeleleye said that a black person with blue eyes is rare but common among the whites.

Recall that Omo-Dada had rejected his wife Risikat base in Ilorin and two daughters because of the colour of their eyes.

The mother-of-two, had said, “I was born with these eyes and I also gave birth to my children with the same pair of eyes.

 

“Since I was born, I have never had any challenge with my eyes. I have never been to the hospital due to any discomfort. I thank God.

“No one had this set of eyes before me in my family; both in my mother and father’s side.

“I’m the first to have this kind of eyes. And when I started bearing children, they also have it and I did not regret that I have this set of eyes as do also my children.”

Oyeleye also said that, most people in the world (80 per cent) have brown iris.

“Some Caucasians (White people) have brown eyes, while some have blue eyes. At the age of three years, the iris colour of the individual is determined.

“Some White children are born with blue eyes, but they change to brown at the age of two to three years.

“A Black person with blue eyes is rare. Please note, some people could wear coloured contact lenses, which give the appearance of various coloured eyes, including blue.”

Oyeleye, who is also the Vice-President, Ophthalmological Society of Nigeria, said blue eyes could be hereditary or caused by genetic mutation and medical syndromes.

“Both parents could have blue eyes so they pass on their genes to the children. Both parents could have recessive blue iris genes and the baby develops blue eyes.

“It could be caused by a genetic mutation. Change in one of the genes during development. The mutation switches off the gene that colours the iris brown.

“It can also be caused by medical syndromes and conditions. There is a medical condition called Waardenburg syndrome, which is named after a Dutch ophthalmologist.

“The affected individual has blue eyes, hearing problems and white forelock (hair in front of the head).

“Some individuals have heterochromia which, simply speaking, is different coloured irises, with one brown, and one blue. Others may lose the colour of the iris in some disease conditions.”

 

“Unfortunately, in our environment, there is sometimes a stigma associated with blue eyes in which the people affected could be thought of as being evil or have evil powers,” Oyeleye concluded

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