Ask an Eye M.D. Answer Archive

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Question:
I have arcus senilis and slightly bloodshot eyes. Is there a treatment for reversal of the cholesterol in my eyes? Also, can I eliminate the red veins?

Answer:
There is no way to get rid of the arcus senilis. There is a technique called corneal tattooing, which can be used to permanently stain the area to cover it up, but I have never heard of this used for arcus senilis nor would I recommend it. Treating your triglycerides and cholesterol levels has not been shown to decrease an arcus senilis. Redness can also be difficult to get rid of. A full exam by an Eye M.D. is required to determine if the redness is due to a treatable cause such as allergy, dry eyes, blepharitis or something else. If there is a cause then treating the underlying disease should help resolve the redness. You may be tempted to use an over-the-counter vasoconstrictor drug such as naphazoline but beware that using this frequently can cause dependence and a marked rebound redness when you stop. If you do choose to use this drop I would use it sparingly, perhaps no more than two or three drops in a week.

Answered by: Gary Hirshfield, MDDr. Gary Hirshfield

Categories: Eye Conditions

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Answered: Feb 13, 2013

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