No, it’s not a side-effect of LASIK or something like that. But it is close.
There is actually a variety of laser surgery specifically intended to change your eye color. Permanently. A doctor in Laguna Beach, California has developed a technique that allows him to use lasers to change brown eyes into blue eyes by destroying brown pigment in the iris. The procedure is quick and painless, taking only about a minute to pull off.
After the treatment, the color change takes place over the course of about 2-3 weeks as the eye slowly gets rid of the melanin that had been hiding the blue base. Basically, your eye spends a few weeks crying out its color, until you’re left with baby blues. There’s no explicit mention anywhere, but it seems that this surgery, as it stands now, can only convert brown eyes to blue. It might be able to turn green eyes blue as well, but considering it seems to focus on getting rid of overlaying colors by stripping down to the base, us blue eye’d folks will have to stick to colored contacts.
This procedure isn’t quite ready for prime time yet. Gregg Homer, who filed a patent on the process back in 2001, expects it to become widely available in the United States in the next few years. Widely available, and also pretty expensive. Around $5,000. As someone with blue eyes, I believe I can say this with some authority: Blue eyes ain’t worth five grand.
The patent, while hard to read and ridiculously broad (as patents tend to be) does make mention of “hue[s] that [do] not naturally occur in a human iris,” so it’s possible Homer has something up his sleeve where he might be able to dye eyes permanently purple or yellow, but that’s a whole other can of worms I think better left unopened. I, for one, prefer to keep lasers out of my eyes whenever possible.
According to the Lasik website, “Cosmetic Laser Eye Surgery. However, some doctors use a different laser unrelated to LASIK — for the strict purpose of changing eye color. This laser destroys dark pigment in the iris to reveal the blue pigment. So far, this laser is only able to create blue eyes from brown eyes.”