Once we turn 40, we start to experience aging-related changes to our vision, per the American Academy of Ophthalmology. This includes a breakdown of proteins located in the eye’s lens or the part of the eye responsible for light refraction. While this lens is normally clear, those with cataracts develop a progressive cloudiness in their lenses which may cause blurring, double vision, light sensitivity, muted colors, and more. Cataracts aren’t always a product of aging, however. Smoking, eye injuries, sun exposure, genetics, various health conditions, or the use of certain medications can all contribute to the development of cataracts. As it turns out, our eye color may, too.
In a 2000 study published in the American Journal of Ophthalmology titled The Blue Mountains Eye Study, researchers examined the lenses of more than 3,600 people in Australia. The findings revealed that compared to people with light iris colors, those with dark brown eyes were 1.5 times more susceptible to nuclear cataracts and 2.5 times more prone to posterior subcapsular cataracts. The Mayo Clinic explained that nuclear cataracts impact the middle of the lens while posterior subcapsular cataracts develop in the back of the lens.