What Does it Mean When the White of Your Eye is Yellow?
Your eyes are not just the windows to your soul; they can also be a reflection of your health. Similar to how you can look through the window of someone’s home and get a sense of what’s inside that home, the sclera (or the white of your eye) gives a glimpse of your overall health. Eyes vary in shape and size and the iris varies in color; however, the sclera is usually white. When it’s not, it may be a sign that something is wrong in your health.
Yellow is seen as a happy color. It is the color of the sun and of beautiful sun flowers. It is a cause for concern, however, when the whites of your eyes are yellow. It’s not a color we would associate with healthy eyes. In fact, the yellowing of the eyes and skin (jaundice) is a sign that you may have serious problems with your pancreas, gallbladder or liver. Three conditions that may cause yellowing eyes and skin are:
Your pancreas creates the enzymes that help you digest food and the hormones that help your body process sugar. The enzymes become active once they get to the small intestines. If they become active in the pancreas instead, you will experience swelling, bleeding and pain. Acute pancreatitis happens out of the blue and can last for days. It causes damage to the blood vessels in the pancreas. One of the major signs of acute pancreatitis is that your skin and eyes become yellow.
Your gall bladder houses bile, the digestive fluid made by your liver. Bile usually breaks down the cholesterol that comes from your liver. If your liver is releasing more cholesterol than bile can break down, hard stones are formed. This is just one of the ways gallstones are created. The symptoms include pain, vomiting and jaundice.
Drinking too much alcohol can damage your liver. You see, when you drink, your liver has to break down the alcohol. When it is broken down, it produces dangerous chemicals in the body that can damage the liver. This results in inflammation and alcoholic hepatitis. Genetics can also cause this condition as it can affect how your body processes alcohol. It’s important to stop drinking if you have this condition.
Listen to what your eyes are saying and let them be your guide. Be sure that you are getting regular eye exams. And remember, yellowing eyes and skin are normally an indication that there is something wrong with your liver, pancreas or gall bladder. If you are experiencing these symptoms, it’s important to contact a healthcare professional as soon as possible.