Those who watched The Last Dance closely can notice Michael Jordan has remained equally competitive and driven as he was in his playing days. One thing that has changed vastly is the decoloration of his sclera (the white part of the eyes) which now appears a shade of yellow.
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Michael Jordan Yellow Eyes Breakdown Michael Jordan’s eyes have looked that way for the better part of the past two decades, yet some believe it could be due to jaundice — a condition in which the skin, the sclera, and mucous membranes turn yellow due to a high level of bilirubin, a yellow-orangish bile pigment.
What’s going on with Michael Jordan’s eyes? They look to have a shade of yellow. #TheLastDance pic.twitter.com/cXx12ziuZ4
Jaundice is commonly linked to liver problems like hepatitis, gallstones, cirrhosis, and cancer. It’s known to be common for those who are common smokers and drinkers — two qualitatives Jordan fits.
While His Airness has never addressed any concerns about the color of his eyes or health problems, there is reason to think something is different.
“Yellow eyes should not be ignored because they are a sign of something more going on. There is literally more than meets the eye,” Dr. Val Phua, an ophthalmologist at Eagle Eye Centre Singapore, told VICE. “Leaving eye conditions untreated includes compromise in vision and even blindness.”
Phua acknowledged “yellow eyes” wouldn’t even be the worst-case scenario, as redness on top of that yellow decoloration could mean more severe issues like conjunctivitis, inflamed pterygium and pingueculae, uveitis, and endophthalmitis.
“(Jordan’s) eyes are slightly discoloured which may point to jaundice, but there seems to also be a slightly raised lesion on the eye, which can point to something local causing the discolouration like a pinguecula,” said Dr. Phua upon his observation. “Yellowish discolouration of the eyes may be more obvious in a dark-skinned individual compared with someone who is fair-skinned.”
This might still be a mystery until Jordan chooses to address this himself. As a private person now that his playing career is over, it’s hard to fathom he would do so openly, especially when it concerns his health.