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Many people are aware that babies are born with eye colors that change, most commonly blue. While a large percentage of babies are born with blue eyes, a lot of those babies’ eye-colors will change as they grow and develop. When and if your baby’s eye color will change cannot be predicted, however, they most often will change within the first year. The question then comes to, why do babies eye color change?
Eye color is genetically dependent, and each parent will contribute specific genes that will determine their child’s eye color. When the parent’s genes are mixed up, it is unpredictable as to what the result will be in relation to a child’s eye color. You will only know once your child becomes a bit older.
The development of eye color: what causes the change?
The iris is the part of the eye that contains the pigmentation that determines one’s eye color, and there are three genes that determine that pigmentation. Each parent has two pairs of genes on every chromosome that leave for multiple different outcomes in how the genes distribute and develop in a child.
Darker colors appear to be more dominant, in that brown will beat blue or green. While generally, two parents with brown eyes will end up with a brown-eyed child, in cases with one parent with blue eyes and one parent with brown eyes, the outcome is undetectable.
The main reason that children are so commonly born with blue eyes is that of the delayed development of melanin, which causes the darker pigmentation to form. Melanin also contributes to the color of one’s hair and skin color as well. While the melanin is not as prevalent in the eyes at birth, within the first three years of your child’s life it will form and likely darken your child’s eyes.
When will they stop changing?
Actually, while it isn’t common, some people are known to experience eye-color changes at various times throughout their life. This most commonly occurs at a very young age and when one is middle-aged to senior, and most commonly in Caucasians. For babies, most of the significant changes will occur between 6 months and 9 months of age. Generally, the iris has developed and experienced enough of an effect from the melanin and the eye’s final color will be more predictable. This isn’t the case with every child though, as some can still experience eye color changes up until they are about 3 years of age. Generally, it will be a milder change, for example, from green to hazel, however, eyes that have darkened will most likely not become any lighter over time.
Taking care of your child’s eyes
Remember that your child should see an eye doctor when they reach the age of 6 months. From then forward, they should see an eye doctor again at the age of three, and then again at the age of about 5 or 6 years old. From here forward it is important to have your child regularly, visit a trusted optometrist in Arlington to ensure that their vision is developing properly.
Here at First Eye Care, we understand the importance of knowing your child is receiving excellent medical care. In fact, providing excellent optometric care for all our patients from infancy to adulthood is our priority. If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.