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"Why do I have yellow spots on the whites of my eyes?"


I have yellow spots on the whites of both of my eyeballs and I don't know why they're there. What can I do to get rid of them? Could laser surgery be helpful in this case?


Yellow in the white of the eyes can be either a sign of serious disease or a normal variant. I would recommend seeing your doctor to have this evaluated. In addition, an eye specialist, known as an ophthalmologist, could be helpful after seeing your primary doctor.

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The worrisome cause of yellowing of the white of the eyes is liver problems. In general, yellowing of the white of the eyes is known as scleral icterus. This is often caused by deposition of bilirubin into the sclera. Bilirubin is normally cleared by the liver, so yellowing of the skin and/or eyes is a sign of the liver not working properly. Scleral icterus is part of jaundice--a yellowing of the skin. Normally this effects the entire eyeball. But it can be simply some parts--talk to your doctor to have a simple blood test to evaluate the bilirubin level and other liver function tests. There can also be a normal variant. Especially in African Americans, yellowing can occur. This is known as "muddy" sclera. Scleral icterus is treated by treating the liver problem. Muddy sclera can be treated by an ophthalmologist using a laser to remove the outer part of the eye--but this is only done for appearance. Muddy sclera is not damaging to the eye. Talk with your doctor.

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