What’s the white ring around my eye?

What’s the white ring around my eye?


I find it interesting how patients seem to ask the same question in waves.  I don’t know if I’ll ever figure that one out because I doubt they all get together before their eye exam and come up with questions together!  This week I had several of my middle-aged patients ask me about a whitish ring forming between the “coloured and white part of their eye” (a.k.a. iris and sclera)…

Arcus senilis is a grayish white arc that forms in the outer edge of the cornea (a clear dome structure over the front of the eye).  It can appear as an arc before becoming a full ring.  It is caused by fat deposits that accumulate over time, and is very common in middle-aged and senior patients.  It does not affect your vision and we typically leave it untreated.

However, if a patient forms this ring under the age of 40, it may be correlated with conditions that may affect cholesterol metabolism.  Make sure you consult with your Doctor of Optometry, it may be advised for you to have your cholesterol levels checked if this occurs.

Dr. Jessica Chang, OD


Vancouver Kerrisdale Optometrist

Contact Avenue Eyecare to book your appointment today.