Thanks to a new medical procedure, having the blues will be a whole lot easier for people with brown eyes.
A doctor in Southern California says he has pioneered a new treatment that can permanently turn brown eyes into blue eyes without impacting a patient's vision.
It took Dr. Gregg Homer and his firm, Stroma Medical, a decade to figure out how to remove the brown pigment called melanin from irises, revealing blue pigment beneath. The process they discovered takes just 20 seconds to complete.
"We use a laser, and it's tuned to a specific frequency to remove the pigment from the surface of the iris," Homer told KTLA.
Patients watch a short animated sequence while a computer-guided laser does the work, The New York Daily News reports.
"You won’t feel anything," the Laguna Beach doctor told the paper. "Your eyes will get a little darker for the first week. Then in two to four weeks, they'll be completely changed."
After completing the treatment, which is expected to cost about $5,000, the brown pigment won't return, Homer claims.
He is confident the procedure doesn't cause tissue damage, though he expects his company will spend another year conducting research on the treatment. It could be available in the United States in three years, KTLA reports.
If Homer is right, he won't be hurting for patients.
In a poll of 2,000 patients, 17.5 percent said they would seek the treatment, he told The Daily News.