Eye color is determined by the color of your iris. The iris is the tissue of the eye that makes a circle to form your pupil. The pupil gets bigger or smaller depending on the contraction of the iris. The color of the iris is what determines a person’s eye color.
Eye Color Rareness
The rarest eye color is actually not a color at all. The American Academy Of Ophthalmology conducted a survey in 2014 of eye colors and the findings are as below (1) :
In the United States:
- 45% have brown eyes
- 27% have blue eyes
- 18% have hazel eyes
- 9% have green eyes
- 1% have eyes a color not listed above
If you don’t count the last line, then the rarest eye color is green according the survey done by the AAO above.
The Most Common Eye Color
The most common eye color is brown. In the United States, almost half the population has brown eyes.
Are Blue Eyes Really Blue?
Did you know that blue eyes are not actually blue? Blue eyes are blue because the tissue scatters light so more blue light reflects out. This is similar to how the sky is perceived as blue by the human eye. On the other hand, brown eyes are actually brown. Brown eyes are brown because of melanin which is a pigment. Melanin is the same pigment that makes some skin darker than others. For the other eye colors like green or hazel, the level of pigment is somewhere between brown eyes and blue eyes. There are some parts of the iris that have no melanin like blue eyes and some that do have pigment like brown eyes. The interaction between the blue light and the brown pigment makes the eye look green, hazel, or even speckled.
Can I Change My Eye Color?
The best way to “change” your eye color is to use colored contact lenses. Even if you don’t have the need for a prescription to see clearly there are colored contacts available without a prescription. If you haven’t worn contacts before you will need to go in to see an eye doctor who can help fit you for your first pair and also teach you how to take your contacts in and out of your eye. Iris impants have been done in some countries to change a person’s eye color but they are often associated with inflammation and can cause may eye issues. Due to the potential for vision threatening eye problems, ophthalmologists in the United States generally advise against iris implants. Currently, there are no FDA approved iris implants for the purpose of changing your eye color.
Eye Color Rareness: Take Home Points
The rarest eye color is green and the most common eye color is brown. Brown eyes are brown because of the pigment melanin. If you don’t like your eye color, you can change it by using colored contact lenses. Colored contacts are available for people even if they don’t need a prescription for glasses to see clearly. You should see an eye doctor to get initially fitted for contact lenses and for them to teach you how to put in and take out a contact lens from the eye.