Yellow Eyes: What Does It Say About Your Health?

General Health

Are you experiencing yellow eyes? There are various causes of this condition, but the most common one is a condition known as jaundice. This happens when the body breaks down stuff in the blood but can’t get rid of it. Around 60% of all US infants have this condition. As with other symptoms, it’s important to know what’s causing the whites of the eyes to turn yellow. It’s also worth noting that while jaundice is a common cause of this condition it’s not the only one. It could be a sign that something else isn’t working properly in the patient’s body.

Yellow-colored eyes can be caused by various issues. They include blood conditions. They could also be the result of conditions related to the liver, gallbladder, and pancreas. It’s important to know what’s causing the condition. This can allow you to take steps to treat it. Jaundice is related to the liver and stuff in the digestive system known as “bile.” If the system isn’t working right then the body isn’t getting rid of stuff and the buildup is what’s causing the yellow eyes. However, there are other possible causes so it’s critical to know what they are so you can deal with the real cause of the yellow eyeballs.

What Exactly Is Jaundice?

There are many causes of yellow-colored eyes but jaundice is the most common one. This condition can not only cause your eyeballs to turn yellowish but also other things. They include skin and body fluids.

This condition results from a body being unable to get rid of a waste material known as “bilirubin.” Normally the level in the blood is low because part of the digestive system involves getting rid of the substance. It moves from the liver to the bile ducts then exits the body through solid waste.

This is a common condition among infants. Studies show that over half of US infants have jaundice. It can happen among people of any age. It usually results from another condition that’s causing the condition. In most cases, the liver/bile duct is involved since they’re linked to the substance.

This condition can be caused by different factors related to the liver/bile ducts. For example, an inflamed or blocked liver can trigger this condition. It can cause a bilirubin buildup and result in symptoms like yellowish skin/eyes, itchiness, and dark urine.

Various tests can detect this condition. It’s important to then treat the main health condition that’s causing the condition.

The body’s production of bilirubin is part of the digestive system. The problem is when the waste material stays in the bloodstream for a long time and stays in the blood. The liver’s job is to filter out waste from the blood.

Here’s how it works. When bilirubin gets to the liver certain chemicals connect to it. This substance then normally exits the body through the bile ducts then stools. There’s a problem when the body has too much bilirubin. It can then leak into other tissues. It’s this leaking that causes the yellowish skin/eyes.

Main Causes of Yellow Eyes


As noted this is one of the main causes of yellowish eyes. However, there are different types of diseases. One is that the liver and red blood cells are unable to keep up with the body’s bilirubin production. This causes it to build up within the body. This takes place before any liver damage and results from malaria and other health conditions.

Another type of jaundice happens when liver damage has already taken place due to factors like infections. There are different treatments like antiviral medicines. This removes the cause of jaundice and protects from other liver infection complications.

There’s another kind of jaundice that results from blocked bile ducts. This results in waste substances like bilirubin being unable to exit the liver. In this case, the most common treatment is surgery.


This is a vital organ that makes enzymes and hormones. It’s related to the gallbladder and small intestine. If the pancreas’ duct gets inflamed it can lead to jaundice. Another cause is pancreatic cancer.

Another related issue is bilirubin buildup can also cause various symptoms like dark urine or itchy skin. It’s worth noting that jaundice usually doesn’t affect the pancreas.


Your doctor might recommend removing the gallbladder. This is due to factors like the gallbladder being inflamed, blocked, or has many gallstones. It’s possible to live without the gallbladder.


Various conditions can affect the liver and result in yellow eyeballs. They include:

The liver is a vital organ. So if you think you have signs of liver conditions, it’s critical to get it checked out. Your doctor can order various tests.

Blood Disorder

Various blood disorders can cause yellowish eyes. They include red blood cells not breaking down bilirubin. These health conditions are related to the production and lifespan of red blood cells.

DIY Treatments for Yellow Eyes/Jaundice

1. Treat organ damage. The amount of damage can vary. However, some of the common treatments include blood transfusions, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery.

2. Exercise regularly. It can provide several health benefits related to yellowish eyes and jaundice. Make sure you’re doing at least 30 minutes of light exercise daily. It provides benefits related to heart health, blood sugar, cholesterol, and the immune system.

3. Eat healthier food. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends that half your diet be fruits/vegetables, and half your grains be whole grains. Protein is also good. If your jaundice is due to bad diet, then it’s important to consume healthier foods including:

  • Lean meats
  • Whole grains
  • Beans/peas
  • Veggies
  • Fruits

4. Ditch unhealthy foods. It includes highly-processed foods and ones loaded with white sugar, refined grains, and saturated/trans-fats. These foods are linked to various health conditions, including inflammation, which can lead to other issues.

5. Treat infant jaundice when necessary. Studies show that only 5% of infant jaundice requires treatment. It’s related to the baby’s development and especially the digestive system.

6. Quit Alcohol/Drugs. If these are the causes of jaundice, then it may be necessary to seek medical assistance to help you quit. It can be difficult, but it can provide several health benefits besides getting rid of yellowish eyes/skin.

7. Drink more water. Make sure you’re drinking at least 2-3 liters of water per day. The “8 glasses” rule works out to about 2 liters. For best results, boost your intake to 3 liters for maximum anti-aging benefits.

8. Antibiotics. You may need to take antibiotics if the jaundice is caused by infections like malaria or hepatitis. Other possible treatments include medications to kill viruses or fungi. You can even go with holistic (whole-body) remedies for yellow eyes.

Main Causes Of Yellow Eyes

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