Can your eyes actually change color?


Claudia Tegtman, Staff Writer

Have you ever met someone or felt that you yourself had color changing eyes that darkened or lightened based on mood? Unless you have an extremely rare eye disease it’s actually not likely at all, but that doesn’t mean you’re necessarily making everything up.

According to recent studies, it’s not the eye that changes color but rather the colors around the eye, which changes how we see it due to contrast. Say a person with green eyes says their eyes get darker when they’re angry, it could just be caused from the red blood vessels in the whites of their eyes that make a bigger contrast and bring out the green more. A person with light blue eyes can make their eyes look more blue by wearing a blue shirt, or more grey by wearing a grey shirt.

What actually happens when clothing is not the changing factor is how light reflects off the iris, which can make it seem as though the individual’s eyes really did change color. Light and mood both affect the retina contraction. This isn’t just a small variety of moods either, as it all relates to the dilation of the retinas; any mood that causes that bodily reaction can cause your eye to look, but not actually change to, a different color thanks to the light around it. An example of this would be when retinas contract due to the individual being stressed, which would in turn make the pupil smaller and reveal more of the iris to light. Eyes that can reflect more light (more often than not this would entail lighter eyes) have a higher chance of making it seem as though color change has occurred when it really hasn’t.

DID/MPD can cause changes in eye color, but only for brief periods in time because of mood or stress. It wouldn’t be fair to call it “changing color” though as the most that can happen would be the original color going a shade lighter or darker. If your eyes are changing color and you don’t think it’s because of any of these reasons, go see a doctor or an eye specialist to see if there is an underlying medical issue that needs attention.

So is it possible for an average person to have eyes that can change completely different colors? No, but it is possible to have it change shade thanks to DID/MPD. So the next time your friend is bragging about their unique color changing eyes, disprove everything they’re saying with your newly found medical research and slowly destroy your friendship, or just politely smile and nod as if you believe them completely.