What Your Eye Color Says About How You Feel Pain

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The color of your eyes may indicate much more than which shades of shadow looks prettiest on your lids. According to new research, the hue of your iris may be linked to how well you handle pain, negative thoughts, and even anxiety.

In a study presented at the 2014 annual meeting of the American Pain Society, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh looked at 58 pregnant Caucasian women. They found that women with light-colored eyes (blue or green) appear to tolerate pain during childbirth better than women with brown or hazel eyes.

Cindy Teng, a medical student and lead author of the study, said that dark-eyed women reported a greater reduction in pain when they were given an epidural analgesia, indicating they have lower pain thresholds.

Furthermore, blue-eyed moms tended to suffer less anxiety, lower rates of depression, and fewer negative thoughts after giving birth than darker-eyed women.

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While more research is needed to determine the reasons behind these links, study author Inna Belfer, M.D., Ph.D., says she suspects a genetic component. Further studies should analyze more subjects, including non-pregnant women as well as more heterogeneous women, the study authors told MedPageToday.com.

No matter what your eye color is, take these preliminary findings with a grain of salt. The study looked at a small sample of women, and more research is needed to figure out the exact cause of the correlation between eye color and the potential consequences for your pain tolerance and post-partum health.

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