Causes Of Yellow Eyes: What Are They, Treatment And How To Avoid

Causes Of Yellow Eyes

The sclera of your eyes will turn yellow if you have jaundice. Jaundice is a serious health condition that will lead to your eyes and the tip of your fingers turning yellow. The yellowing happens due to bilirubin breakdown. Jaundice may be one of the major causes of yellow eyes. Therefore, it is advisable to keep a check on it. 

Slight malfunctioning of the liver can lead to yellowing. It is necessary to follow a healthy lifestyle to avoid jaundice. Experts recommend eating good food and following a healthy diet to enjoy all the benefits. If the bilirubin doesn’t move from the liver to the bile ducts, it gets distributed on the skin. 

The bilirubin buildup in your skin leads to yellow-looking skin. The healthy sclera is completely white, but if you have jaundice, it will turn yellow. Nonetheless, jaundice may always not be the cause of yellow eyes in adults. 

What conditions can lead to yellow eyes? 

If you have yellow eyes, there are chances that you may be suffering from an underlying health condition. If any of the following organs in your body isn’t functioning properly, it can lead to yellow eyes:

  • Liver 
  • Pancreas
  • Gallbladder
Source: the Healthy

What conditions can have an impact on the liver? 

The liver is one of the essential organs of the body. It is responsible for breaking down the red blood cells. Most of the conditions affecting the liver are often the causes of yellow eyes. Make sure to eat good food.

One of the major liver malfunctions that can cause yellow eyes in adults includes liver scarring or cirrhosis. Various factors can lead to liver cirrhosis. These include

  • Liver cancer
  • Alcohol overdose
  • Liver infection
  • Hepatitis B and C

Hepatitis A, E, and D are also reasons for jaundice. However, these aren’t as dangerous as Hepatitis C and B. 

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Are genetic conditions causes of yellow eyes? 

It is necessary to be aware of genetic conditions if you have any. Cirrhosis can often lead to different genetic conditions, which can seriously impact your overall body. 

Some of the major genetic conditions that can cause yellow eyes to include the following:

Wilson’s disease

This is a sporadic disease. It occurs due to the extra buildup of copper in your liver.


This is a condition in which excessive iron builds up in the liver. Kids often inherit primary hemochromatosis from their parents. 


Excess porphyrins in the body can have a negative impact. The red blood cells in the body will increase. It is a very rare blood disorder. 

What are the prominent causes of yellow eyes?

The causes of yellow eyes are often grouped into two categories- prominent and less common. Since yellow eyes happen due to different reasons, it is necessary to be extra careful. Some of the prominent or major causes of yellow eyes include the following, 


Hepatitis is a condition in which your liver increases because of the attack by Hepatitis C, A and B. These can last for a long time. Hepatitis virus will infect the liver, thereby making it incapable of filtering bilirubin. 

Causes Of Yellow Eyes
Source: Hepatitis.VA

Different autoimmune disorders can often be the primary cause of hepatitis. It is necessary to be familiar with the early signs of Hepatitis C. 

Alcohol overdose

Drinking alcohol within a certain limit will not have any negative impact on your lifestyle. However, if one overdoses on it, alcohol can be an enemy. If you’ve been drinking alcohol for a very long time, it will destroy your liver cells. 

The liver cell destruction will make it unable to perform any function accurately. Furthermore, instead of healthy liver tissues, you will be able to observe scars. As a result, these scars will prevent your liver from doing its function. Heavy alcohol drinkers are very much prone to alcohol hepatitis. 


Gallstones are small pebble-like structures in your gallbladder. It is a rare liver condition that will block your bile ducts and cause all negative impacts. Gallstones can cause extreme stomach pain. Therefore, it is advisable to understand the early symptoms of gallstones. 

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Source: healthline

Liver infection

Hepatitis virus often affects liver functioning. Liver flukes are very common parasites that will harm your liver. Liver infection isn’t common in the US, but the presence of roundworms and ascariasis will prevent the healthy functioning of the liver. 

It will lead to bile duct blockage. Roundworms often cause liver infections. While roundworms are said to be common in children, adults can be prone to it too. 


Too much consumption of medicine can often be one of the major causes of yellow eyes. Birth control pills, medicines taken to control mood can have a negative impact. It will lead to yellowing of the eyes. At the same time, it is advisable to avoid the consumption of steroids. 

If you are into bodybuilding, you should avoid consuming too many steroids. A higher dosage of steroids is known to be the leading cause of yellow eyes. 

Sickle cell anemia

Women are more prone to sickle cell anemia. This is a rare condition that will turn the red blood cells of your body into a sickle-like shape. Since these are infected, the liver will try to filter these out. However, livers fail to filter the dead sickle red cells. 

Causes Of Yellow Eyes
Source: NHGRI

Eventually, it leads to bilirubin build in the cells. It can further cause jaundice. 



Malaria is caused due to mosquito bites. While it will affect your entire body, it will have a significant impact on your liver. Malaria damages the spleen and liver. The loss of sufficient red blood cells can cause jaundice and anemia. 


Pancreatic, liver, and gallbladder cancer can be the major causes of yellow eyes. These are some rare types of cancer affecting the most vulnerable organs of the body. Pancreatic and liver cancer often block the bile ducts, which becomes a problem. 

Final Thoughts

If you know the causes of yellow eyes, the treatment becomes easy too. It is necessary to be familiar with bile duct blocking so that you can avoid it. Furthermore, you may also consider getting medication or surgery if the condition is too serious. At the same time, you should also be careful with medications. 

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