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Yellowing of eyes with age. Is that normal/JAUNDICE?

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I have read a lot of contradictory info online about what is considered "normal" as far as a yellowing of the eyes that is aging and a yellowing of the eyes that is jaundice. I am a 39 year old man that feels that my eye whites aren't bright but that it has to do with my age and shouldn't be a concern however, I do stress over it so I thought I would send a picture of my eye for you to tell me if this type of yellowing is considered normal for a 39 year old man.

Category: Internal Medicine Specialist

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Category: HIV- AIDS Specialist
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Thank you for query at
Yellowing of the eyes is named icterus. It occurs when the levels of a pigment bilirubin in our body is elevated and colors the sclera of your eye such that it appears yellow. But it also important to know, that isolated icterus does not occur. When bilirubin levels are elevated in your body it also gives the skin of the palms of your hands and soles of your feet a yellowish tinge. I can see mild yellowing at the corners of your eye so I would like to ask you the following:
(1) Has there been a change from normal to the color of your skin?
(2)Have you experienced any other symptoms like a fever, extreme fatigue or muscle pain?
(3) Have you recently traveled to a tropical country?
(4) Has there been a change in color to your stools or urine?
(5)Do you or your family members have any signficant medical history we should be aware of?
Icterus and jaundice can have a wide variety of causes, therefore I would be better able to answer your query when I have the above answers.

Patient replied :

1) I'm not aware of change in color in my skin... meaning there hasnt been a radically new change. If there has its been slow so I didnt notice. I attached pictures

2) no fever, fatigue, or muscle pain. One noticeable thing the other day I experienced flank pain in my left side. It lasted a short while (1 second at most) so I disregarded it. I also am thirsty quite a bit which in turn I am urinating frequently because I am drinking water often. Caffeine seems to increase my thirst. I drink one cup of coffee daily. I do NOT drink alcohol or take drugs. I have been drinking reishi tea and curently drinking wheatgrass and taking alpha lipoic acid as a supplement in the morning granted I started doing that in hopes that my eyes would clear up.
3) I have not left the country
4) Stools and urine seem to be fine and consistent.
I guess though that you're saying that my eyes DO look like jaundice and that I should have them looked into as its not simply normal aging? How quickly should I have this checked out? Should I be going to the emergency room? My family doctor takes a LONG time to make an appointment with which is why I'm using you as a resource. Thanks for any advice. Even advice like, "calm down" would be nice. Thanks!

Dear Sir,
Thank you for the follow up.
Firstly let me reassure you, now that you sent the picture of your entire face and your palms, it seems extremely unlikely that you have jaundice. The mild yellowing of your eyes which I referred to can be explained by aging. The sclera of our eyes can become yellow due to continuous life long exposure to the sun, wind and dust.
Additionally you answered NO to all my questions which further makes it unlikely that you have any condition which would require you to rush to the hospital immediately. Therefore, it appears as if you have no reason to panic or visit the ER. I was merely asking those questions to be thorough that there were no other addditional symptoms involved.
Hope this helps and that you have understood that the mild yellowing has no pathology associated with it and therefore you can rest assured.

Dr. Jaydeep Tripathy
Category: HIV- AIDS Specialist
MBBS from Sri Ramachandra University in December 2011
M.Med (Family Medicine) - TNMGR University, Chennai
MBA-MPH in Public Health in March 2016, SRM University
Finished AFIH in March 2016, SRM University
MRCP ( UK ), Internal Medicine, Royal College of Physicians, June 2016
Fellowship in Diabetology from Martin Luther University in January 2017

Currently Resident Physician, in MD Radiodiagnosis - Kamakshi Memorial Hospital, Chennai
Dr. Jaydeep Tripathy and 4 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you

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