Eye Whitening Basics
As we age, our hair starts to gray, our teeth start to yellow and our skin loses elasticity. Some people may also notice that the whites of their eyes begin turning yellow or red. These changes may be caused by allergens or overexposure to sunlight, smoke or particulate matter. Not only do yellow or red eyes make you appear unhealthy, but they can also make you look extremely tired, or even intoxicated. Although over-the-counter eye drops may help reduce eye discoloration, they likely won't help you achieve the long-lasting whiteness you desire.
If you feel your eyes are not as white as they used to be and you're embarrassed about their appearance, you should contact your ophthalmologist to discuss the possibility of undergoing an eye whitening procedure. Eye whitening can drastically improve the look of your eyes to make you look and feel years younger.
Eye Whitening Procedure
Eye whitening is a virtually painless 15-minute procedure that you can have done in your doctor’s office. A light sedative and numbing drops are administered before the procedure. During the procedure, your doctor removes the clear membrane that covers your eye. This membrane contains blood vessels, yellow growth, white lumps and/or brown spots (hyperpigmentation/freckles). After the membrane is removed, a crystal-clear membrane grows back in its place.
You'll begin to notice whiter and brighter eyes within two to eight weeks. You'll be given post-operative instructions, which include daily drops to promote healing and lubrication. Most people resume normal activities the next day. However, you'll be advised not to swim for two weeks and to stay away from dusty areas.
The average cost of an eye whitening procedure is $4,500 to $5,500. Most insurance companies don't cover this procedure because it’s considered cosmetic.
Advantages of Eye Whitening
- Brighter and whiter eyes can give you a more youthful appearance
- No downtime (resume activities the next day)
- Gain confidence and improve your self-esteem
Disadvantages of Eye Whitening
- Although side effects are minimal, some people may have temporary redness from blood vessels that are intersected and rupture during the procedure
- Some people may experience sensitivity to light
- Rare occurrence of pain and sensitivity beyond the first day of surgery
Find an Ophthalmologist in Your Area
Contact an ophthalmologist to discuss the eye whitening procedure in more detail to help you determine whether it’s right for you.