The Laser Eye Procedure That Can Change Your Eye Color

By Nishat Khan

Blue eyes have always seemed to be those of peak attractiveness. Unfortunately, only about 17% of the world’s population has blue eyes. There are many ways to get blue eyes, primarily through colored contacts, but for some, contacts are unmanageable or uncomfortable. However, with new technology, there are ways to make your brown eyes blue through a laser procedure.

The procedure was developed by Stroma Medical, a California-based late-stage research and development corporation. In an interview with CNN, Dr. Gregg Homer, Chairman and Chief Scientific Officer, said that essentially, “under every brown eye, there is a blue eye,” and that the only difference is a “very thin layer of pigment on the surface.”

In regards to the actual procedure, he said that “if you take the 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 spectrum.”

The procedure uses a simple, low-energy laser that disrupts the layer of brown pigment, causing the body to begin a natural and gradual tissue-removal process. The patient sits in front of the laser and is directed to look toward a small light, about a foot away from the patient. The laser then scans the surface of the eye’s iris, and the procedure is performed in about 20-30 seconds.  Then, the procedure is repeated to the other eye. Usually, only one treatment is required, but there is always the possibility of needing a second treatment.

Stroma claims that the procedure is totally safe; however, there are a few ophthalmologists that say that the shedding of pigment could clog drain channels in the eye, increasing eye pressure and the risk for glaucoma. Stroma claims that they have already successfully performed the procedure on 37 patients in Costa Rica and Mexico. They argued that the pigment particles are too fine, and the energy of the laser is so low, that it’s difficult to injure a patient.

Stroma wants to charge $5,000 for the procedure when the FDA gives the okay to provide the procedure to patients in the US.

 

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