Sclera is the tough outer coat of the eyeball. If you consider the surface anatomy of the eye, sclera is the white part of the eyeball. The white part actually is a combination of two layers – sclera is covered anteriorly with conjunctiva which is largely transparent.
You will notice that the sclera in young children is quite white and ‘spotless’. As we age, the sclera gradually becomes yellowish and even brownish. This is the result of years of damage caused by infection, allergy and environmental toxins and degeneration.
Chronic allergies, autoimmune diseases and infections may impart reddish or pinkish color to the sclera/conjunctiva.
According to this study, faces with a lesser amount of darkness, redness and yellowish discoloration of sclera were perceived to be younger, healthier and more attractive than the faces with more darkness, redness and yellowness of the sclera. Therefore coloration of sclera is a cue for our health, age and attractiveness.
Similar observations were made by another study which evaluated the color of sclera as a cue for socially significant information about health, attractiveness and age. Images of eyes with normal white sclera were contrasted with copies of the same images but digitally altered.
The individuals having yellow and red sclera were perceived to be older, less healthy and less attractive as compared to the ones having normal sclera.
Since your eyes are an important part of your face and perception of your overall attractiveness depends a lot on your face, keep your eyes always healthy. Protect them from ultraviolet rays and ocular injuries with appropriate glasses. If you have any eye problems, consult your ophthalmologist without delay. Remember, all unattended chronic inflammations may cause disfiguring discolorations of your sclera.