The claim: Eye colour can have an effect on vision.
The facts: Can the colour of your eyes affect more than just your dating life?
It is well known that people with lighter eyes tend to be more sensitive to light, a result of having less pigment in the iris to protect them from sunlight.
That can place them at a greater risk of macular degeneration and other eye-related problems. However, whether that extends their vision is not clear.
If there are any differences, they seem to be subtle. There is little or no evidence that people with darker eye colour posses greater visual acuity, but one theory holds that those with darker eye colour produce better reaction times.
Studies have examined this by looking at sports performance. One, at the University of Louisville, Kentucky, found that dark-eyed people performed better at “reactive-type tasks” like hitting balls, playing defence in a football game and boxing.
However, people with light eyes did better at “self-paced tasks” like hitting a golf ball, throwing baseballs or bowling.
A similar study of college students found that subjects with darker eyes performed better at hitting racquet balls.
Other studies have challenge those findings, including one that looked at rugby players. Scientists say more study is needed.
The bottom line: There is limited evidence that eye colour can have a slight effect on vision.
- The New York Times