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What causes blue eye whites?

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Quick Answer

Oculodermal melanocytosis, conjunctival nevi, primary adrenal insufficiency, collagen synthesis diseases and side effects to medications are some explanations doctors consider when a patient presents with blue eye whites, explains the American Academy of Ophthalmology. These possibilities represent localized, systemic and toxic causes.

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Oculodermal melanocytosis and conjunctival nevi are examples of localized explanations for blue eye whites, notes the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Oculodermal melanocytosis is a congenital condition especially common in Asian individuals that produces pigmented lesions on areas such as the face and episclera. The episclera is a thin membrane over the white of the eye, explains MedicineNet. A small, pigmented lesion that is not usually associated with the area of the eye called the palpebral conjunctiva is called a conjunctival nevus, notes the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Primary adrenal insufficiency and collagen synthesis diseases are types of systemic abnormalities that can result in blue eye whites, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Primary adrenal insufficiency, also called Addison's disease, is an autoimmune disease that causes the adrenal glands to destruct. Diseases involving faulty collagen synthesis can cause the sclera, or eye whites, to get thinner, producing a blue pigmentation.

Medication side effects are an example of blue eye whites caused by toxicity, notes the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Minocycline, antimalarial medications and phenothiazines are a few of several medications that can produce pigmentation of the skin or eyes.

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