The pupils in my eyes look as though they are white

Why do my pupils look as though they are white?

Are you noticing that your pupils are starting to become cloudy, or appear white in flash photography? There are many reasons as to why that might be.

white pupils diagram

Corneal ulcer

This is when there is an open sore on the cornea; these often come about after you have suffered an eye infection or even severely dry eyes. Other symptoms that can accompany the white pupil are redness, sensitivity to lights, discharge and possible swelling of the eyelids. Corneal ulcers can occur more so with those that wear contact lenses. In order to help reduce the risk of developing an ulcer it is important that you insert your contact lenses correctly to prevent any damage happening.

Keep your eyes hydrated so that they don’t dry out – this can be achieved through eye drops and spray that are readily available on the market. Also ensuring that you complete a course of antibiotics given by a doctor if you contract an eye infection will reduce the chances of developing an ulcer.


This is a form of eye cancer that is more common among young children but can develop in adults. This is where cells in the retina multiply in size and number which then come together to form a tumour. Alongside the pupil looking white in a flash, other symptoms include swelling of the eye. The eyes may look in different directions and the affected eye will become red. If you are aware of previous family members having had retinoblastoma then you will want to get to an appointment with your optometrist as soon as possible.


This is when the eye’s lens, which is located at the back of the iris and pupil, becomes clouded as the proteins it is made of start to clump. This usually develops in later adulthood at about 40. Cataracts start off small and can be detected early. Your vision begins to lose clarity and anything you look at becomes blurry and hazy. Causes of cataracts can be smoking, exposure to UV light, diabetes, previous eye surgery and even genetics.

There is debate as to whether or not cataracts can be treated but some research suggests that increasing your intake of Vitamin C and foods with Omega-3 fatty acids can reduce the risk of developing them. Another simple trick is to protect your eyes when you are out in the sun by wearing sunglasses with UV protection.

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