Bright healthy eyeballs
September 18, 2008 5:48 AM   Subscribe

How does one get clear, bright white healthy "eyeballs"? You know the white area around the pupil, or whatever you call it!

I'm sure the white area of me eyeball has almost always been unclear up close with some visible pink capillaries. From far they are white and look fine. But sometimes I see a picture of someone and the white of their eyes are really clear and bright.

So is it genetics? Or lots, and lots, and lots of regular sleep (I wish)?
posted by gttommy to Health & Fitness (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
In a photo, the white part of the eye reflects more light(from the flash than the other parts. Also, it's something many people alter in photoshop. So you're probably completely normal.
posted by [NOT HERMITOSIS-IST] at 5:57 AM on September 18, 2008

I suspect it is genetic, kinda like tooth whiteness. I have a friend who eats super healthily and gets lots of sleep but her eyes are usually fairly bloodshot (as her her mom's) where I don't eat terribly healthily and am a horrible sleeper but have perfectly 'clear', white eyeballs.
posted by gwenlister at 6:01 AM on September 18, 2008

The white of the eye is called the sclera.

Why it looks so white in some pictures, that's called Photoshop.
posted by neblina_matinal at 6:40 AM on September 18, 2008 [2 favorites]

If you want to achieve this look in the short term, there are tons of eyedrops that can make your eyes stunningly white. Visine A or Rohto V are basically bleach for your eyes. Probably not the best idea to be constantly dosing yourself in an attempt to be permanently white, but they're great for touch-ups if you're feeling/looking bleary.
posted by SpiffyRob at 6:59 AM on September 18, 2008

Allergies and liver function can also affect the whiteness of your eyes.
posted by electroboy at 7:02 AM on September 18, 2008

eat well - fruits, beggies and drink water. Nothing makes you look and feel better than giving your body the things it wants, needs and expects from you. And of course, sleep.
posted by wocka wocka wocka at 7:48 AM on September 18, 2008

Allergies (eye makeup, pollen, dander) can also cause chronically reddened sclera.
posted by jamaro at 10:08 AM on September 18, 2008

It´s not uncommon at all for Visine to be part of getting ready for a photo shoot. (as well as makeup, special attention to clothing, flattering lighting, etc.) Don´t worry that you don´t look like someone in a photo. About anything.
posted by yohko at 10:10 AM on September 18, 2008

Bright, healthy eyeballs is an oxymoron. What makes your eyes red are blood vessels that carry blood to the sclera. Blood is good. OTC eyedrops that remove redness do so by constricting blood vessels whose job it is to carry blood to the surface of the eye. Not a good idea. (Not an eye doctor, but a longtime glaucoma patient who has been told this by several optometrists and ophthalmologists.)
posted by AstroGuy at 12:10 PM on September 18, 2008 [1 favorite]

Do not use Visine or similar products if you wear contact lenses, just by the way. As AstroGuy notes, they constrict your blood vessels. Your cornea, covered by the lens, is not getting the oxygen it would usually get from the air, so it is relying on the blood. If you cut off both you are putting your corneas at significant risk.
posted by kindall at 3:56 PM on September 18, 2008 [1 favorite]

All good answers, thank you.

Other than genetics, eye drops and a healthy life transformation, I'd be interested in any particular exercises or lifestyle that promotes 'brighter' eyes.
posted by gttommy at 4:59 AM on September 19, 2008

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