What Determines Your Eye Color

A person’s eye color has been the subject of many hit songs over the years. Have you ever asked yourself what actually makes up someone’s eye color? You may have learned about it in elementary school, but this article will give you a refresher course on what determines a person’s eye color.

Genes

The 46 chromosomes that make up your body have all of the information in them to determine what your eye color will be as well as vast amounts of other information for the rest of your body. One of the most important factors that determine your eye color are your genes. The genes are made up of alleles which have the information that creates your eye color. There are two types of alleles, dominant and recessive. The dominant allele will always be expressive if paired with a recessive allele. There are three alleles that can be present when determining eye color. Brown, Green, and Blue are the three alleles available from the gene pool. Brown and Green alleles are both dominant where Blue is recessive. A pair of alleles will equate to that eye color being represented. If a Brown or Green allele is paired with a Blue allele, the Brown or Green allele will be represented. Only when there are two Blue alleles present will the recessive gene be represented.

Melanin

The other factor of eye color is how much melanin is present in the Iris of the eye. The Iris is the place in your eye that has color and is affected by the alleles. Melanin is the chemical that determines how light or how dark your eye color is. The more melanin that is present, the darker your eye color will be.

There are some variants in eye color with people of certain age groups and situational variations where people may have different eye colors temporarily. Children under the age of three usually have a blue color or tint to their eyes. Not until around the age of three is a person’s eye color solidified. In different situations, a person’s eye color may change. Variations in lighting may give people different eye colors for a short period of time. Over time melanin production in the eye could increase or decrease causing a person’s eye color to seem darker or lighter.

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