UNDATED (CBS) -- A new procedure promises to whiten your eyes, but is it a good idea?
Adriana van Derhoek used to wear sunglasses during her daily walks along the ocean, not because of the glare, but to hide her red eyes. Now she doesn't have to. She says, "When I wake up in the morning and I see my beautiful eyes, I am so happy."
Van Derhoak had a procedure called iBrite. It brightened her sclera, or the white part of her eye, discolored by age and years of sun damage. Her bloodshot eyes often gave people the wrong impression.
She says, "I hate to face people because when they look at me, they think, I'm drunk, or I was late to bed last night."
Beverly Hills doctor Brian Boxer Wachler is one of two physicians in the world who perform the 30 minute operation.
He says, "We're removing the damaged membrane that has all the discolorations and letting the body regenerate a new membrane that doesn't have all the discolorations."
The operation isn't cheap. It can cost up to $5,000 an eye. But some eye doctors say there are cheaper ways to whiten your eyes, like eye drops from the drug store.
And many ophthalmologists say iBrite may have risks. Dr. Alan Berg says, "To me it doesn't make sense physiologically, I think it may ultimately lead to more problems because if you have more dry eyes and then it can not only affect the redness but also affects the cornea which allows you to see clearly."
But Van Derhoek is happy with the results. She says, "I wish I did it earlier." And now she's not afraid to look people in the eye.
Doctors say the effects of the iBrite procedure can last up to 10 years.