A New Solution for Whiter Eyes

By Dr. Cynthia Payne

Many people are concerned with how red their eyes appear. They want to make a more positive impression when they see someone by having a more cosmetically white eye. Making eye contact when we first see someone creates a basis for intimacy, trust and a way for someone to express how they feel by squinting or opening the eyelids or with brow movement.

Redness of the sclera (the white part of the eye) can occur for many reasons. A few of the most common reasons are dryness, allergies, or an overpopulation of bacterial or mites in the eyelashes. Dryness is very common here in the Las Vegas desert climate. Sometimes simply drinking more water for better hydration will improve dry eye and associated redness of the eye. Women have more of a problem with dry eye as they age due to the hormonal changes that occur. Certain diseases, especially inflammatory diseases, increase dryness or redness of the sclera. Many medications are also associated with an increase in dry eye. Allergy eyes are red, puffy and itchy. A bacterial or mite infestation of the eyelids will typically be associated with red eyes, red eyelid margins and scaly flakes at the base of the eyelashes. Bacterial or viral infections of the eye (pink eye) are some other causes of a red sclera.

The first step in treating red eyes is to have a comprehensive eye exam with an eye doctor (an optometrist or ophthalmologist) to determine the cause of the redness and the appropriate course of treatment. For dry eye, artificial tears or other dry-eye therapies may be required. An antibiotic may be prescribed for a bacterial infection or allergy eye drops for an allergy-based red eye. If the eyelids are infected, proper hygiene with lid scrubs and a prescription drug may be utilized. An eye exam is required to assess if there is an underlying pathological cause for the redness of the sclera.

To cosmetically improve the appearance of a mildly red eye, there is a new eye drop available without prescription to make our eyes look whiter. It is called Lumify and only needs to be used just once every eight hours to have a long-lasting effect on the sclera without the “rebound redness” that we often see with the frequent use of popular name-brand eye drops. It also works more quickly than older “get-the-red-out” eyedrops. Lumify whitens the eye in about one minute. Lumify is available without prescription at all major drug stores.

The contents of this article do not constitute medical advice. Please see an eye doctor for any eye conditions or concerns for appropriate care. Cynthia Payne, OD accepts appointments for eye exams at Trendsetter Eyewear, 1225 S. Fort Apache Rd., Ste. 145, Las Vegas, NV 89117. Call 702.479.5222.