ZocdocAnswersWhat causes the sclera to change color in children?

Question

What causes the sclera to change color in children?

Why would a child's sclera change color? I'd never noticed before, but my daughter's sclera have been looking strangely blue in the last week, which makes me wonder if there's something seriously wrong with her eyes. Is this just a thing I've never heard of before, or should I have her seen by a professional?

Answer

The color of a person's sclera can occasionally give us clues to other things that may or may not be going on. The best physician to evaluate this problem would be your child's pediatrician. He or she will be able to examine you child's sclera and be able to either re-assure you that nothing is going on, make a diagnosis, or perhaps refer you to a specialist. The sclera of the eye is the large white area on the outsides of the iris. It can appear red when blood vessels within the eye dilate giving the so called "blood shot" appearance. The sclera can turn yellow when the body has high levels of bilirubin in it. This can be caused by blood diseases or by liver diseases. When the sclera turns blue, it usually means nothing. However, it can be a sign of a syndrome called osteogenesis imperfecta, a disease that makes the bones very brittle. The blue sclera is usually an non-important finding, as most children with this disease get multiple broken bones. I suggest that since there are worrisome possibilities with a blue sclera, that I would schedule that pediatric appointment sooner than later. Good luck.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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