Yellow eyes – what is worth knowing?

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Louise Barnett
Louise Barnett
I'm Louise Barnett, the editor at, where my days are filled with the exploration of myriad subjects that pique my curiosity and feed my ever-growing appetite for knowledge. From the latest in laser cutting technology to the timeless wisdom of yoga and meditation, my work allows me to dive deep into topics that not only fascinate me but also have the potential to improve our daily lives. I have a particular interest in how ancient practices meet modern life, leading me to explore everything from Ayurveda to minimalism and beyond. My journey has taught me the importance of balance—between innovation and tradition, action and reflection, and between the digital and the natural world. Each article I publish is a step towards understanding this balance better, hoping to inspire others along the way.

Yellow eyes can be a symptom of many conditions, but they do not always have to indicate a serious disease. Learn about the causes of yellow eyes and what action to take in response to this symptom.

What are yellow eyes?

The termyellow eyes” refers to the yellowish coloration of the sclera of the eye, which is visible on the white part of the eye. It is not the natural color of the eyes. The sclera is the outer covering of the eye that protects the eyeball. When we talk about yellow eyes, we are referring to the change in color of this sclera. Yellowish eyes are often associated with elevated levels of bilirubin in the blood. Bilirubin is a yellow pigment that is formed during the natural breakdown process of red blood cells. Under normal conditions, bilirubin is processed by the liver and excreted from the body. However, if something interferes with this process, bilirubin can accumulate in the body, leading to a yellowish coloration of the skin and eyes, which is called jaundice.

Causes of yellow eyes

Yellow eyes can be caused by many factors, and their appearance often indicates a health problem that needs attention. Here are some of the main causes of yellow eyes:

  • Elevated bilirubin: As mentioned earlier, this is the most common cause of yellow eyes. It can result from liver problems, infections or blood diseases.
  • Alcoholism: Excessive alcohol consumption can damage the liver and interfere with its ability to process bilirubin, leading to jaundice.
  • Hepatitis: Diseases such as viral hepatitis can damage the liver and interfere with its function, leading to a buildup of bilirubin in the body.
  • Liver diseases: Other liver diseases, such as cirrhosis or liver cancer, can also lead to yellow eyes.
  • Blood diseases: Some blood diseases, such as hemolytic anemia, can cause excessive destruction of red blood cells, leading to elevated bilirubin levels.

It is important to remember that yellow eyes can be a symptom of a serious health problem. If you notice yellowishness in your eyes or skin, you should consult your doctor as soon as possible.

Alcoholism and yellow eyes

Alcoholism is a chronic disease characterized by excessive and uncontrolled alcohol consumption, which leads to physical and mental dependence. One of the most visible and disturbing symptoms of alcohol abuse is yellow eyes, which are directly related to liver damage.

The liver is a key organ responsible for metabolizing and eliminating toxins from the body, including alcohol. When we consume alcohol, the liver processes it to remove it from the blood. However, excessive and prolonged alcohol consumption can overload the liver, leading to liver damage and its inability to effectively remove toxins.

As a result of this liver damage, bilirubin levels in the blood can rise. As mentioned earlier, bilirubin is a yellow pigment produced when red blood cells break down. When the liver is unable to process bilirubin effectively, it accumulates in the body, leading to a yellowish coloration of the skin and eyes, known as jaundice.

Alcoholic jaundice is one of the first and most visible symptoms of liver damage caused by alcoholism. It may be accompanied by other symptoms, such as dark urine, light-colored stools, abdominal swelling, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain.

It is important for those suffering from alcoholism to be aware of these symptoms and to seek medical help when they occur. Early intervention and treatment can prevent further liver damage and potentially save lives.

Alcoholism yellow eyes
Alcoholism and yellow eyes / canva

Yellow eyes at the corners

Yellow spots or nodules in the corners of the eyes, often called “xanthelasm,” are relatively common, especially in older people. Although they can be aesthetically undesirable, they are usually harmless and do not affect eye health. Nevertheless, they may indicate some health problems.

Xanthelasma are small, flat, yellow spots or nodules consisting of accumulated fat under the skin. They most often appear in the corners of the eyes, but can also occur in other places on the body. Here is some key information about xanthelasm:

  • Cholesterol: One of the most common reasons for the appearance of xanthelasm is elevated cholesterol levels in the blood. The accumulation of cholesterol under the skin can lead to the formation of these yellow spots. People with xanthelasm should regularly check their cholesterol and other blood fats.
  • Genetic diseases: In rare cases, xanthelasma can be a symptom of inherited metabolic diseases, such as familial hyperlipidemia. In such cases, xanthelasma may appear at a younger age.
  • Treatment: xanthelasma can be treated by various methods, including cryotherapy, laser therapy or surgery. The choice of method depends on the size and location of the spots and the patient’s individual preference.
  • Causes other than cholesterol: Although elevated cholesterol is the most common cause of xanthelasm, they can also occur in people with normal cholesterol levels. In such cases, the cause may be related to other factors, such as liver disease, diabetes or thyroid disorders.

In summary, yellow eyes at the corners, or xanthelasma, are usually harmless, but may indicate some health problems, especially cholesterol-related. If you notice such spots on your skin, it is worth consulting a dermatologist or ophthalmologist to learn more about their causes and treatment options.

Summary of yellow eyes

Yellow eyes can be a symptom of many conditions, but do not always indicate a serious health problem. It is important to monitor any changes in the appearance of the eyes and consult a doctor if symptoms persist or worsen.

Yellow eyes – frequently asked questions

What does it mean when one has yellow eyes?

Yellow eyes mean yellowishness of the sclera, which can indicate elevated levels of bilirubin in the blood, often associated with liver problems or jaundice.

Are there yellow eyes?

Yes, yellow eyes refer to a yellowish coloration of the sclera of the eye, which can be a symptom of various medical conditions.

What does yellow skin color indicate?

Yellow skin color, called jaundice, can indicate liver problems, infections or blood diseases leading to elevated bilirubin levels.

What do yellow proteins in the eye mean?

Yellow proteins in the eye indicate yellowishness of the sclera, which can be a symptom of jaundice or other health problems, such as liver disease.

What diseases can be recognized by the eyes?

Various diseases can be recognized by the eyes, such as diabetes, hypertension, liver disease, as well as some autoimmune diseases and cancer.

How do you know jaundice?

Jaundice can be recognized by a yellowish coloration of the skin and eyes, dark urine and light-colored stools. It can also be accompanied by a feeling of fatigue and abdominal pain.

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