Only 17% of the world’s population has blue eyes. And the only way for the remaining population to achieve the same eye color is via contact lenses or artificial iris implants. But that may change soon with new, innovative surgery.
This procedure was developed by the company Stroma Medical and works by eliminating melanin – the pigment that gives color to the hair and the skin – from the surface of the iris, which allows light to enter and strike the stroma, the most expressive collagen fiber layer of the cornea.
There is no blue pigmentation in that area , but the lack of pigment causes the light to reach small molecules and then spread, causing an illusion similar to that in the Earth’s atmosphere.
This means that all people with brown eyes have blue eyes under the layer of melanin. The treatment breaks down the fragile layer of pigment in the iris, and the body starts to remove the proteins naturally.
But while the surgical procedure takes only 20 seconds , the eyes only change color weeks later. The laser reaches only the iris and is away from the nerves responsible for the vision.
However, doctors do not seem very satisfied with this news . There is the possibility that the pigment clogs the corneal drainage channels, which could increase eye pressure. This could cause glaucoma, a disease that can lead to blindness.
Stroma Medical was created in 2009 and in 2015, announced that that year would begin the first surgeries paid. But the announcement did not materialize , and these surgeries are not yet done in any country in the world. There is no prediction as to when your practice should begin.
For now, 37 volunteers from Costa Rica and Mexico underwent the procedure that, according to the company, had natural results and no side effects for patients.
However, images of the results obtained have not yet been disclosed , since, according to Stroma Medical, the studies should be closed before the images are released.
“Our first research site does not allow us to post any patient images,” a company spokesman said on the Facebook page. “Another reason is that, for now, we only treat the iris partially, and spreading images of partial treatments would not be fair to our procedure,” adds the same source.
“In the current study, we are treating our first full irises. When this study is complete, we will publish the first images of patients, “said the spokesman.
The official website of the corporation has been on the air since mid-2017 , with promises of news coming soon.
At this stage, only volunteers living in the region near the place where the experiments take place can participate in the tests.
Once the procedure has been approved, the first countries to be deployed should be in Europe, followed by South America. The United States should only enter this list “at least three years after starting in Europe”, stresses Stroma Medical, noting the usual difficulties presented by the FDA.