The white part of your eye, is known as the sclera. The sclera is the part of the eye that surrounds the cornea. In fact, the sclera forms more than 80 percent of the surface area of the eyeball, extending from the cornea all the way to the optic nerve, which exits the back of the eye. Only a small portion of the anterior sclera is visible.
One common sign of a health problem is yellow eyes. Often this yellowing is referred to as jaundice. There are many possible causes for yellow eyes. Most are related to problems with the gallbladder, liver, or pancreas, which cause excess amounts of a substance called bilirubin to collect in the blood. Bilirubin is a yellow pigment, produced when the liver breaks down old red blood cells. Bilirubin is then removed from the body through the stool (feces) and gives stool its normal brown color. When an abnormally high number of red blood cells is broken down, bilirubin can build up quickly in the body.
Some other causes of yellowing of the eyes:
- Subconjunctival Hemorrhage
- Hemolytic Anemia
- Yellow Fever
It is also fairly common to see jaundice in a newborn, it is most noticeable when the baby is 2 to 4 days old. Most times it goes away within 2 weeks. It occurs when a baby’s liver may not be fully developed. When the baby is in the womb the placenta removes bilirubin from the baby’s body. After birth, the baby’s liver starts doing this job. It sometimes takes a little time for the baby’s liver to be able to do this efficiently. Consult your pediatrician immediately if you notice any yellowing of your baby’s skin of eyes.
Yellowing of the whites of your eyes is a symptom that needs to be checked by your doctor. If yellowing occurs in one eye only, it may be due to a burst blood vessel, which could signal other underlying conditions. If both eyes are yellow, you need to seek medical attention for any of these symptoms, one eye or two. The sooner you begin to explore the causes, the sooner you will be treated and prevent complications.