Yellow Eyes – Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment of Conjunctival Icterus

The eyes are not only the windows to the soul but also a reflection of our overall health. When the whites of the eyes take on a yellowish hue, it can be a cause for concern. This condition, known as conjunctival icterus or yellow eyes, is often a sign of an underlying health issue. In this blog, we will explore the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for conjunctival icterus, helping you understand this condition and seek appropriate care.

Causes of Conjunctival Icterus:

Conjunctival icterus occurs when there is a buildup of bilirubin, a yellow pigment produced during the breakdown of red blood cells, in the bloodstream. Elevated levels of bilirubin can occur due to various reasons, including:

#1. Liver Dysfunction:

The liver plays a crucial role in processing bilirubin. When the liver is unable to properly metabolize bilirubin, it can accumulate in the bloodstream and manifest as yellowing of the eyes.

#2. Hemolytic Anemia:

This condition involves the destruction of red blood cells at a higher rate than the body can replace them. The excess breakdown of red blood cells leads to an increase in bilirubin levels, resulting in yellow eyes.

#3. Obstruction of the Bile Duct:

A blockage in the bile duct can impede the flow of bile from the liver, causing a buildup of bilirubin in the body and leading to yellowing of the eyes.


Symptoms of Conjunctival Icterus:

The treatment of conjunctival icterus focuses on addressing the underlying cause of the condition. Depending on the specific diagnosis, treatment options may include:

#1. Treating Liver Disease:

If liver dysfunction is the underlying cause, medical interventions such as medications, lifestyle changes, and in some cases, liver transplantation may be necessary.

#2. Managing Hemolytic Anemia:

Treatment for hemolytic anemia may involve addressing the underlying cause, such as immune system disorders or certain medications. In some cases, blood transfusions or medications that suppress the immune system may be prescribed.

#3. Resolving Bile Duct Obstruction:

If a blocked bile duct is causing the accumulation of bilirubin, interventions such as surgery, endoscopic procedures, or the placement of a stent may be required to restore proper bile flow.


It is crucial to consult with a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan tailored to your specific condition.

Yellow eyes, or conjunctival icterus, can be a sign of an underlying health issue, particularly related to liver function and bilirubin metabolism. Recognizing the symptoms of conjunctival icterus and seeking prompt medical attention can help identify the root cause and initiate appropriate treatment. Remember, early intervention and proper management of the underlying condition are key to preserving your overall health and wellbeing. If you notice yellowing of the eyes, consult with a healthcare professional for a comprehensive evaluation and personalized care.


Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog is for educational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult an eye care professional for personalized guidance and recommendations.