Q:

Why are the whites of my eyes discolored?

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Quick Answer

A discoloration of the eye whites can be caused by medical conditions, exposure to silver compounds and eye melanomas, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Discoloration can also be the result of medications such as prednisone, topical eye drops and antibiotics.

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Yellowing of the eye whites is referred to as jaundice and is commonly caused by medical conditions that affect the liver, according to Healthline. Conditions such as alcoholism, liver infections, hepatitis and liver infections hinder liver function, which can lead to a build-up of liver bile within the body. Individuals with yellow eye whites due to excess bile may also experience symptoms of yellowed skin, fatigue, loss of appetite and weight loss. Liver bile build-up can also cause obstructions in the gallbladder. Additional symptoms of gallbladder obstruction include bloody stools, stomach discomfort, fever and chills.

Eye whites with a bluish tint can indicate osteogenesis imperfecta, a congenital condition in which individuals develop weak bones, according to MedlinePlus. The condition is typically diagnosed in childhood. Additional symptoms include susceptibility to bone fractures, hearing difficulties and scoliosis of the spine. There is no cure for the condition, but symptoms can be managed with bone-strengthening drugs and surgical procedures. Complications of the condition include heart failure and respiratory issues.

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