The white area of the eye is the sclera. In a healthy individual, the sclera is white. Certain disorders and diseases make the eyes appear yellow. Yellow eyes are typically due to an impairment of the liver, gall bladder or pancreas.
The eyes look yellow as a consequence to jaundice. Jaundice develops when the oxygen-carrying component of blood, i.e. hemoglobin gets broken down in to bilirubin, and it does not get cleared normally.
What Causes Yellowing Of The Eyes?
The liver is responsible for the breaking down of the RBCs. Any disorder that afflicts the functioning of the liver can lead to yellowing of the eyes. Common causes include:
- Alcohol abuse
- Malignancy of the liver
- Fatty liver
- Liver cirrhosis
Certain genetic conditions may also affect the functioning f the liver and trigger jaundice like symptoms; these are –
- Hemochromatosis, which results in the excess iron accumulating in the liver and thus impairing its functioning.
- Wilson’s disease – large amounts of copper accumulate in the liver.
- Porphyria – a build up of excess porphyrin occurs. These compounds are needed to form hemoglobin.
The liver manufactures bile which gets collected in the gallbladder. The gallbladder releases the bile to digest fats. The gallbladder connects back to the liver via the bile ducts. Common causes include:
- Gall stones
- Obstruction of the bile ducts
- Gall bladder infection
The pancreatic duct and the bile duct join to drain in to the small intestine. If the pancreatic duct gets occluded, bile may not drain as it should and jaundice develops. Common causes include:
- Pancreatic cysts
- Pancreatic cancer
Yellowing of the eyes may also occur due to an abnormal breakdown of the red blood cells. Certain conditions which afflict the manufacture or the lifespan of the RBCs can cause eye yellowing. This includes:
- Sickle cell anemia.
- Drug induced hemolytic anemia.
- An incompatibility reaction from transfusion of blood.
Signs and Symptoms of Yellow Eyes
- The eyes appear yellow.
- In some cases, the skin yellows as well.
- Depending upon the cause for the yellowing of the sclera, there will be other manifestation such as – weight loss, exhaustion, nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain.
Natural Remedies To Cure Yellow Eyes
The treatment for yellow eyes depends upon what is the causative factor. Once the cause has been ascertained, your health care provider will embark on the most appropriate treatment regimen.
The following home remedies help reduce yellowing of the eyes and also help manage the other symptoms associated with the condition.
- Tomato juice: One fresh tomato blended with a pinch of salt and pepper, taken on an empty stomach is a very effective home remedy.
- Radish leaves: Juice extracted from radish leaves is an excellent tonic for the liver. It induces appetite and regularizes the bowel movements.
- Sugarcane: Sugarcane juice sustains normal liver functioning, and thus helps you recover rapidly from jaundice. Have one glass of sugarcane juice daily for about a week.
- Lemon: Lemon is an effective natural remedy for jaundice. The anti inflammatory property of lemon reduces swelling, inflammation and congestion in the liver and gall bladder and restores normal functioning. Have 2 to 3 lemons a day; it will allay the symptoms of jaundice quickly.