The eyes are highly expressive and can communicate inner feelings without words. The eyes are also communicative in a medical sense. They can impart information about the health of the eyes and the rest of the body under the process of an eye exam.
In fact, some signs exuded by the eyes regarding health are so obvious that even a non-medical person can notice. This is the case when the whites of the eyes are discolored. Remember, the eyes are vulnerable organs of the body, and they need protection to keep them healthy and functional. One of the best ways to protect eyes is to wear sunglasses in Portland, OR to shield eyes from UV rays. Sunglasses can help to avoid any issues with discolored whites of the eyes in some cases.
Understanding the Whites of the Eyes
What laypersons call the whites of the eyes is actually termed the “sclera.” This is a protective layer over the eyes, covering more than 80% of the eyeball. The sclera is supposed to appear white when it is healthy. If it is any other color, that is a strong indicator that something is amiss, either with the eye itself or with the body.
You’ve likely seen something like this for yourself. After a long day at work looking at a computer screen or even after too many hours spent doing something that strains the eyes, you may find that your eyes appear bloodshot, with redness overtaking the whites of the eyes. This is a temporary condition that will resolve itself after adequate rest.
Causes of Discolored Sclera
Because there can be many different reasons for discolored sclera, you should book an appointment for an eye exam if you notice any discoloration. Common causes include:
- Allergic reaction to new eye drops
- Side effect of prescription medication, especially antibiotics
- Underlying condition, such as liver disease or liver failure
- Subconjunctival hemorrhage
- Inadequate sun protection via sunglasses in Portland, OR
- Primary acquired melanosis (precancerous condition)
As you can tell, discolored sclera is often a serious sign that something needs to be addressed. If the whites of your eyes are dull or discolored in any way, be sure to schedule a visit for an eye exam right away. Do not attempt to brush off the discoloration as benign, or try to diagnose your own condition.