A California doctor is testing a laser surgery procedure that turns brown eyes blue, according to media reports, but experts have expressed doubts about the method's safety.
Dr. Gregg Homer of California-based Stroma Medical will be presenting the new method at the Octane Medical Device & Investor Forum November 15 and 16 in Irvine, California, the The Orange County Register reported.
Homer told KTLA.com that the procedure, which changes brown eyes to blue permanently (but cannot be used to make blue eyes turn brown), is safe and does not affect a patient's vision, though he expects to do another year of testing before the technique becomes available for about $5,000 in about three years in the United States.
For the 20-second procedure he uses a laser tuned to destroy the natural brown pigment melanin in the iris, the circular structure in the center of the eye; brown eye color then fades to blue gradually in about two weeks.
But not all ophthalmologists are enthusiastic about Homer's new procedure, CBS News reported; melanin seepage into the eye is associated with pigmentary glaucoma, a condition that can cause blindness, American College of Ophthalmology spokesman Dr. Elmer Tu cautioned.
The NY Times reported that brown eyes are increasingly more common than blue eyes in the United States and the Americas.
Along with The Daily What, some may wonder how many will pay thousands of dollars to turn the brown eyes they were born with blue, when colored contact lenses could do the trick?