Clear Eyes® Eye Care Blog

Are Blue Eyes More Sensitive Than Brown Eyes?

Yes, blue eyes are more sensitive to light than brown eyes. In fact, blue, green and gray eyes are all more sensitive to sunlight, fluorescent lights and bright lights than brown eyes. It all has to do with the amount of pigment in your eyes.

Why Blue Eyes Are More Sensitive to Light

The iris is the colored part of the eye. If you have less melanin in your iris, you will have lighter colored eyes. Melanin is a naturally brown pigment, and the amount of melanin in the iris determines eye color. While all irises have different amounts of brown melanin (rather than different colored pigment), eyes only appear to be different colors because of the way light reflects off the layers of the iris. Obviously, having a lot of this brown melanin results in having brown or hazel eyes. Blue eyes have the least amount of melanin.

Because of this difference in melanin, brown eyes are more able to block out the effects of bright sunlight, harsh lighting and glare. Blue eyes, then, have less of this protective element and, therefore, are more at risk for sun and light sensitivity and damage that could affect eyesight. So taking care of your eyes and being aware of this potential sensitivity is important.

Protecting Sensitive Eyes

If you find yourself squinting or feeling pain in your eyes when in sunlight or bright lights, your eyes may be sensitive to light. Protecting your eyes, especially if you have blue or light-colored eyes, is important. An easy preventive measure is to wear sunglasses outside even if it’s only partly sunny. In fact, it is recommended that blue-eyed adults and children wear quality sunglasses that block or absorb at least 99% of UVA and UVB rays as well as most blue light. You could also opt for or add anti-glare coatings to sunglasses and prescription glasses. Wear a wide-brimmed hat when spending time outdoors in the sun and try to avoid prolonged time in the sun, harsh lighting or bright lights.

Photochromic lenses lighten and darken in response to how much light is around you. Wearing glasses with these lenses both indoors and outside is another way to protect lighter colored eyes from harmful effects of sunlight and other high-intensity lights.

Relief for eye irritation of Sensitive Eyes

No matter what color eyes you have, if your eyes feel sensitive, irritated, dry or gritty, you may want to try our Clear Eyes® Complete For Sensitive Eyes. It provides up to 12 hours of gentle, soothing comfort and is formulated for (or great for) sensitive eyes because it has no parabens, dyes or benzalkonium chloride (which can cause irritation). Get the full, soothing effect by making sure you know the right way to use eye drops.

As always, if you have any concerns about your eyes—frequent or sudden eye sensitivity, a change in vision or eye pain—before trying any drops, call your eyecare professional.