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Dr. James
Dr. James, Board Certified Ophthalmologist
Category: Eye
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Experience:  Eye Physician and Surgeon
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for the last year i have been a heavy drinker, due to the loss

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for the last year i have been a heavy drinker, due to the loss of my husband. During this time I have slowly watched my eyes begin to yellow on the inside part of the whites. I have had my liver and kidney function checked and they are normal I am no longer drinking can i expect my eyes to return to their normal white? If not what do you think of this " eye whitening " procedure?
Have you been told you jaundice (elevated bilirubin) in the past?
Can you give me a reference to the eye whitening procedure?
How old are you?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
No jaundice in the past. eye whitening involves removing/scraping the top layer of the eye and it supposedly will replace itself in a matter of weeks, back to white. I am 45
Sorry for the loss of your husband. I can understand how hard it must be.

Yellow of the eyes is most commonly associated with jaundice or elevated bilirubin. This is common in liver disease as you already know. I am not aware of other disease or if alcohol by itself can cause this yellowing.

A yellowing of the conjunctiva may be seen with aging and UV damage over time. The year long alcohol could have been accompanied by nutritional deficiencies -- this could be contributing to the discoloration that your are seeing. Yellow eyes due to jaundice is reversible. Yellow eyes due to other reasons may not be readily reversible.

The eye whitening procedure that you mentioned involves removal of the surface layer of the conjunctiva. This procedure is not without risk. The procedure is commonly done of conjunctival scar tissue (pterygia, pinguecula), but not many ophthalmologist offer it for red or discolored conjunctiva. I do not have experience with the procedure myself, so difficult to comment one way or the other.

Here is a the website to the Korean doctor who first promoted the technique.

Here is the website for Dr. Wachler in Los Angeles who also offers the same surgery. Cost is about $3000 per eye.

Remember to press the green accept button. It was a pleasure helping you with your question. Best wishes to you. Smile

Disclaimer: Information provided is for educational purposes only and does not establish a patient-physician relationship nor substitute for a personal consultation with a physician.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Thank you. There was definitely nurtitional deficiencies which are being corrected. And I have seen some improvement in the yellowing (it is only slight on the inside of the whites). So, if my liver function is normal I should not be concerned and see what time tells?

Yes. I would recommend waiting for now and use artificial tears to lubricate the eyes as needed and UV protection while in the sun.

Please remember to press the accept button if my answer was helpful. Smile
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