When it comes to assessing our risks for certain diseases, we rarely think of eye color. But researchers have determined that your eye color says a lot about your risks for developing certain conditions. For example, according to Everyday Health, those enchanting green eyes come with a higher risk for eye cancer.
Be aware of more health risks associated with eye color:
- Melanoma. According to Prevention, people with blue eyes are at a greater risk for melanoma, a serious skin cancer.
- Alcoholism. Light-eyed people are also at a greater risk for alcohol dependence according to a 2001 study published in Personality and Individual Differences. On the other hand, those with dark eyes are more sensitive to alcohol and drugs and tend to be less frequent substance abusers.
- Pain tolerance. In research presented at the American Pain Society in 2014, scientists found that women with light-colored eyes have a higher tolerance for pain during and after childbirth. Those with darker eyes exhibited more anxiety and sleep disturbances.
- Macular degeneration. People with light-colored eyes have twice the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of vision loss in people over age 60, according to Prevention.
- Diabetes. According to WebMD, a 2011 study conducted in Europe found that the combination of blue eyes and fair skin increases your risk for type 1 diabetes.
- Hearing loss. Brown-eyed people are less likely to suffer hearing loss, possibly because they have more melanin in their inner ears. This pigment protects our skin, hair and eyes from environmental damage and is thought to also protect the ears.
- Vitiligo. Blue-eyed people are less likely to have this blotchy skin condition because the genes that contribute to making eyes blue may also protect from vitiligo.
- Cataracts. An Australian study found that dark-eyed people have twice the risk of developing this common eye condition.
- Sport skills. Interestingly, WebMD notes that dark-eyed people perform better at sports involving quick reactions, such as boxing, hitting a baseball, and defensive football. However, people with blue eyes are superior in more controlled sports such as golf, bowling and pitching a ball.
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