Ask an Eye M.D. Answer Archive

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Question:
I'm an African-American and am writing because I wondered what's causing the whites of my eyes to become brown. 

Answer:
The most common cause of the whites of the eyes taking on a brownish and sometimes blotchy color in African-Americans is melanin pigment in the surface tissue of the eye, known as the sclera and conjunctiva. This is benign and there is no treatment safe enough to use for such a benign condition. This can sometimes be confused with a yellowing of the whites of the eyes which may be a sign of liver disease. If this symptom is new, progressive or concerning to you then you should see an Eye M.D. for a specific diagnosis.

Answered by: Gary Hirshfield, MDDr. Gary Hirshfield

Categories: Eye Conditions

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Answered: Sep 05, 2012

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