Sudden changes in eye color can be very alarming. Having yellow or red eyes can be embarrassing in public. People should be aware of the causes of eye discoloration to address the condition effectively. Eye discoloration can happen due to many reasons. Sometimes, lack of sleep, crying, and dirt accumulation cause the eyeball to look red. This type of discoloration is harmless and goes away on its own. However, if the eyeball color has changed to gray or yellow, it can indicate an underlying health issue.
A Possible Ophthalmic Concern
There are numerous causes of eye discoloration. Cataracts in the pupil of the eye, which is located right in front of the lens, could be a possible reason. Cataract discoloration does not affect the whites of the eyes since the flaw originates on the lens or colored part of the eye. If it is, however, a visible discoloration, it can pose a risk of eyesight loss. Remedial surgeries are available to fix this problem; anyone suffering from it should consult their doctor.
Health Issues Connected to Eye Discoloration
If someone is experiencing rapid yellowing of eyes, one must consult with their doctor to see if they have conditions like-
- Acute pancreatitis- Pancreas infection.
- Obstruction jaundice- Blocking of the bile duct due to gallstones in the gallbladder
- Pinguecula- Excessive sun exposure causes the formation of a yellowish layer on the sclera.
- Hemolytic anemia- Lack of healthy red blood cells causes congenital blood disorder.
- Malaria- A mosquito-borne blood infection.
- Rare genetic disorders- Abnormal bilirubin production by the liver
- Autoimmune diseases- Hepatitis A, B, and C viruses affect liver cells, often leading to short- or long-term hepatitis.
- Cirrhosis- A late-stage internal scarring that fails the liver’s ability to filter bilirubin.
- Cancers- This can include Liver cancer, Pancreatic cancer, and Gallbladder cancer.
Other Causes Behind Eye Discoloration
Apart from medical conditions, eye discoloration can happen due to-
Long-term usage of certain drugs causes a blue-gray tint in the sclera. This condition is brought on by the antibiotic minocycline, prescribed for rosacea and rheumatoid arthritis. When the sclera is thinner, the choroid becomes visible, causing pigmentation. The sclera will become blue-tinted due to this disorder.
Sometimes eye injuries can lead to eye discoloration. Eye injury does not always show symptoms immediately and may not appear for a few days after the accident. It’s essential to see a doctor if someone has eye redness from an injury.
Another factor in a change in eye color is diet. This condition is caused by a high protein or salt diet. Overeating these nutrient-rich foods and beverages can harm one’s digestive system and other organs. Those who consume alcohol may also develop liver cirrhosis or infection. Discoloration of the eye whites indicates that a person’s diet affects their liver.
When it comes to treatment, it is best to see an ophthalmologist who can create a treatment plan. As there are too many anatomical and physiological considerations, they should visit an eye doctor as soon as they notice eye discoloration.