As part of Healthcare Global's look back at 2011 we've revisited this story which originally made headlines in November...
An American doctor has developed a new 20 second laser treatment which he claims can permanently turn the colour of eyes from being brown to blue.
It is estimated Dr Gregg Homer’s Lumineyes treatment would cost in the region of $5,000 (£3,000), but it would mean people would no longer have to rely on coloured contact lenses to change the colour their eyes.
Dr Homer, the founder of the Calfornian-based clinical equipment company Stromer Medical, is also confident his revolutionary technique does no harm to patients’ vision, which has reportedly taken him 10 years to develop and perfect.
The Lumineyes laser treatment works by extracting the brown pigment of melanin from the iris’ upper layer.
Two to three weeks after undergoing the Lumineyes treatment the brown colour is then replaced with a blue colour which is already present in everybody’s eye, it’s just not visible beneath the melanin.
However, once the melanin has been removed from the iris it does not grow back meaning the laser treatment is permanent and irreversible.
While being interviewed about Lumineyes treatment by KTLA Morning News, Dr Homer said: “They say the eyes are the windows to the soul.
“A blue eye is not opaque, you can see deeply into it, while a brown eye is very opaque.
“I think there is something very meaningful about this idea of having open windows to the soul.”
According to British newspaper the Daily Mail, Stromer Medical is looking for an investment of £500,000 to allow it to carry out clinical trials of the Lumineyes treatment.
If an investor should come forward, Dr Homer has said the treatment could be available to patients in the US within 18 months, but has estimated a time period of three years before it is available in locations outside of America.
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