To understand yellow eyes better, you should understand what sclera is. White part of the eye is sclera. When the white of eye or sclera turns yellow, we call it icterus, which can also be called jaundice eyes. It happens when your blood has too much bilirubin, a yellow pigment that occurs when red blood cells break down.
Usually, this isn’t an issue. Bilirubin is removed from your blood by your liver, after turning it into bile. Bile travels through your digestive tract through narrow tubes called bile ducts before being expelled as trash. However, if you have too much bilirubin in your blood or your liver is unable to process it quickly enough, it can build up in your blood & stain certain tissues of your body, especially the white part of eyes that becomes yellow, causing jaundice eyes. Usually, yellow eyes are a feature of jaundice.
What Causes Yellow Eyes?
Here are some common yellow eye causes:
Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver. The infection can be acute (short-term) or chronic (long-term), meaning it lasts at least 6 months. Hepatitis causes the liver to become ineffective in filtering bilirubin. This may cause jaundice. You should know that hepatitis is one of the most common causes of jaundice eyes.
Gallstones are pebble-like objects that form inside your liver. The most prevalent cause of bile duct blockage is gallstones. Hepatic ducts transport the bile juice from your liver to your gallbladder, where it is stored, and bile ducts transport it to your small intestine. Bilirubin stays in the blood when gallstones obstruct your bile ducts.
- Consumption of Too Much Alcohol
It is possible to have significant liver damage if you drink heavily for a long time (typically at least 8 to 10 years). It can cause inflammation that damages liver cells in heavy drinkers. Scars may eventually replace good liver tissue, making your liver’s task more difficult. Furthermore, excessive drinking might cause alcoholic hepatitis, which may again lead to an increase in bilirubin levels in your blood.
Not only this, but even medicines can lead to jaundice. Because the liver is responsible for concentrating and metabolizing a majority of medications, it is a prime target for medication-induced damage. Usually, the harmful effects or side effects of medicines lead to liver dysfunction or damage.
- Blood Transfusion Reaction
If you’re given the wrong type of blood (for example, if you have type A blood but are given type B), your immune system may attack it, producing bilirubin and causing jaundice.
When To Consult With A Doctor?
Immediately call your doctor if you notice any of the below-mentioned symptoms associated with yellow eyes.
- Nose bleeding
- Reduced appetite
- Skin itching
- Feeling of exhaustion
- Losing weight
- Abdominal swelling
- Dark yellow urine
- Yellow stool with a smell
- Abnormal joint or muscle pain
- Feeling sick
- Throwing up
These are some common jaundice symptoms.
What Are The Treatments For Yellow Eyes?
The root reason for jaundice and other reasons for yellow discoloration of eyes determine the treatment. Here are some common jaundice treatments.
- Pre-Hepatic Jaundice
When your body breaks down too many red blood cells, your liver can’t keep up with the amount of bilirubin made, so it builds up in your body instead. Malaria and sickle cell anaemia are two illnesses that induce it. Your doctor will most likely recommend medicine to treat the underlying problem or alleviate symptoms. If sickle cell anaemia is the culprit, they may offer a blood transfusion, intravenous (IV) rehydration, or drugs like hydroxyurea (Droxia, Hydrea).
- Intrahepatic Jaundice
If your liver has already been damaged, you will get this type of jaundice. Infections, such as viral hepatitis or liver scarring, are the most common causes. Antiviral drugs can aid in the treatment of viral infections in the liver. Recognition & removal of offending agents as quickly as possible like alcohol or drugs or chemicals or poisons. You may need a liver transplant if your liver has been significantly damaged. If the liver is not replaced, you may get liver failure if there isn’t enough healthy liver tissue left.
- Post Hepatic Jaundice
This jaundice occurs when a bile duct is clogged, preventing bilirubin and other waste products from leaving the liver.
The most common treatment for post-hepatic jaundice is surgery. The gallbladder, a portion of the bile duct, and a part of the pancreas is removed during this procedure.
- Gallbladder Condition
If your bile ducts are obstructed, your gallbladder is inflamed, or your gallbladder is full with gallstones, your doctor will most likely recommend gallbladder removal.
Is There Any Home Remedy Which Can Cure Yellow Eyes?
Some lifestyle changes can help these organs perform better, which may minimize discomfort. The following suggestions may assist in reducing eye yellowing or yellow eyes treatments:
- Keep yourself hydrated
- Get enough dietary fibre from whole fruits, vegetables, beans, lentils, and whole grains
- Fish, nuts, and legumes are good sources of lean protein
- Processed and packaged foods should be avoided
- Saturated and trans fats should be avoided
- Refined carbs should be avoided
- Consume alcohol in moderation
- Stop using tobacco products or smoking
- Avoid taking illegal substances or misusing prescription meds
- Exercise every day
Overall, yes, jaundice is the most likely cause of yellow eyes. Although jaundice isn’t always severe, some of its reasons can be bothersome or lead to long-term consequences. If you see significant yellowing in your eyes, especially if you have additional symptoms like abdominal pain, exhaustion, or fever, see your doctor immediately so you can get the help you need.
Having said that, if you have yellow eyes and do not have any other symptoms, you should contact our Centre for Sight experts. They can examine your eyes and let you know how to eliminate the yellowness quickly and effectively! Make an appointment today!
Article:Why Do I Have Yellow Eyes?
Author: CFS Editorial Team | Jun 23 2022 | UPDATED 02:00 IST
*The views expressed here are solely those of the author in his private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of Centre for Sight.