Have you ever looked at the whites of your eyes to find they have a different hue than they usually do? If so, you’re dealing with one of the more common eye diseases, eye discoloration. Eye discoloration is quite common and can be caused by several different factors. Knowing these factors is important to determine what kind of treatment or medical care you need. This article describes the most prevalent causes of eye discoloration and its different types.
Injury to the eye or eyelid is another common reason for discolored eyes. If you have scratched a cornea or if there is an abrasion or cut on your eyelid, it can cause some discoloration. This can be temporary or permanent, depending on the severity of the injury and the type of treatment you receive.
Several diseases can cause temporary or permanent changes to the color of your eyes. Swelling caused by injury or illness can cause blood vessels in the sclera to expand and appear redder than usual. Infection or allergies can also cause inflammation around the eyes and make them appear redder than normal.
The most significant cause of eye discoloration is genetics, which affects everyone differently. For instance, if your parent’s whites of the eyes are grey, you’re more likely to have grey ones too. You’re also more likely to have blue eyes if your parents have blue eyes. And sometimes, when there’s a family history of certain diseases, you may notice that your child has blue eyes at birth, but they become darker later in life.
Eye discoloration may be caused by high-protein and high-sodium diets. For example, a high-protein diet can cause the whites of your eyes to turn yellow as excess nitrogen builds up in your liver and kidneys. People who consume alcohol are also at risk of developing liver cirrhosis or other liver-related issues. When a person’s diet affects the liver, the whites of their eyes become discolored.
Discoloration may be caused by certain medications such as birth control pills, some antibiotics and antifungals, and some heart medications. This discoloration is usually temporary but may take several months to resolve after you stop taking the medication. If you’re taking any new medication, especially one not normally associated with eye changes — tell your doctor about it so they can watch for any side effects during your appointment.
Aging is a natural process that affects every part of your body, including your eyes. As you get older, your eyes may experience changes in color and texture due to the natural breakdown of collagen and elastin in the skin. This discoloration is usually harmless, but consult your doctor if you notice any signs or symptoms, such as pain or redness in one eye.
Sun exposure also plays a role in causing eye discoloration because ultraviolet light alters melanin production in the skin and eyes. This can make your eyes appear lighter or darker than normal, depending on how much melanin they produce. This color change is called photokeratitis. The symptoms of this temporary condition might last anywhere from six to 24 hours, although they usually go away within 48 hours or less. The more time you spend in the sun, the more likely you will suffer from UV radiation’s effects.
Eye makeup can be a sneaky cause of eye discoloration. Eye shadow, mascara, and eyeliner are popular products that can be used as part of your daily makeup routine. However, these products can also cause discoloration around the eyes. This is especially true if you use them regularly or apply them incorrectly. Eye shadow is one of the most common culprits of eye discoloration. When you apply too much product or apply it poorly, you can end up with dark circles under your eyes. This happens because the pigment in eye shadow gets trapped in the skin and causes discoloration when exposed to light over time.
Types of Eye Discoloration
There are numerous conditions under which the eyes can get discolored. This leads to patients seeking help from doctors. The condition can occur at any age, and as long as it is not a symptom of a serious condition, it can be easily treated. Here are some types of eye discoloration.
White Spots in the Pupil
A disorder known as white spots in the pupil causes the pupil of the eye to appear white instead of black. The pupil of the eye might look white on rare occasions. When this happens, you need a doctor to look at it right away.
Black eyes, also called a subconjunctival hemorrhage, are caused by bleeding under the conjunctiva. The conjunctiva is the thin, transparent membrane covering your eye’s white part. This type of discoloration can happen when a blood vessel ruptures or breaks under pressure in your eye. This can be caused by trauma to your face. Still, it may also occur spontaneously or because of certain medical conditions such as infections, autoimmune diseases, excessive exercise, or coughing.
Red or Pink Eyes
Red or pink eyes can indicate an infection, allergy, or irritation. You may have conjunctivitis if you have redness in your eye accompanied by tearing of the eyes and itching. Conjunctivitis occurs when the thin, transparent membrane overlying the white of your eye becomes inflamed. Conventional treatment for red eyes includes antibacterial drops or ointment administered directly into your eye to reduce swelling and prevent further infection.
Bloodshot eyes are the most common type of eye discoloration and can be caused by various factors. The most common cause is allergies, such as pollen, pet dander, and mold spores. These substances can irritate the eyes and cause them to become red and irritated. Wearing contact lenses for too long or incorrectly can also increase your risk of developing bloodshot eyes.
If you’re like most people, you’ve probably never given much thought to eye discoloration. This is unfortunate because little knowledge can go a long way toward preventing more serious problems. So here’s the science behind eye discoloration. While our content may be useful, remember that each case of eye discoloration is different. If you’re still worried about your eye discoloration and think it is cause for further medical attention, we recommend speaking with your doctor or a vision specialist.