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Your Eyes Can Tell a Lot About Your Health

18 January 2022

Eyes are windows to the soul. Your eyes can indicate many things related to your health. They act like a picture indicating your well-being and overall health. A medical doctor specializing in the medical and surgical conditions of the eyes (an ophthalmologist) can read your eyes and predict your health conditions. An ophthalmologist looks into your eyes to search for certain eye-specific diseases like glaucoma, cataract, and macular degeneration.

The list doesn't end here. Your eye health can also point to numerous chronic diseases that affect other body parts. Such diseases include high cholesterol, autoimmune diseases, vascular diseases, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Thus, make sure you examine your eyes regularly.

Earlier, when the pandemic of covid-19 was spreading globally, a team of researchers from the Department of Ophthalmology, National University Hospital, Singapore, conducted a study with surprising outcomes. Their study revealed that Sars-Cov-2 is associated with several ocular infections. This indicates how eye health can be examined to relate to dreadful medical conditions such as covid-19.

Take a closer look at your eyes to check symptoms related to common chronic conditions and how your eyes are affected.

Whether you have diabetes:

Diabetes occurs when the blood glucose levels are higher than normal, and your cells cannot use it. Individuals with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are at risk of developing diabetic retinopathy. The condition results when blood vessels of the retina are leaky, leading to swelling and hemorrhages in the retina. The retina's surface shows abnormal vessel growth leading to bleeding inside the eye.

Although some patients do not experience noticeable symptoms at all, in others, diabetic retinopathy is the first sign for preventing permanent vision loss through treatment; it's necessary to observe the symptoms early. Your doctor can help motivate you to control your blood sugar levels too.

Whether you are stressed:

Do your eyelids twitch more often? This may mean that you are tired, stressed, or consuming many caffeine-rich drinks. In an eyelid twitch, the lower or upper eyelid muscles show rapid & involuntary spasms. They can occur seconds or minutes apart and are highly unpredictable.

Remember, most eyelid twitches vanish on their own. However, reduce caffeine intake, get more sleep, or apply a warm massage to your eyes if it doesn't stop. If your eyelid twitches don't go away and cause violent spasms, it is time to call your doctor.

Whether Suffering from Grave's Disease:

Grave's disease is an autoimmune disease that leads to higher thyroid levels in the body, a condition termed hyperthyroidism. Your eyes may bulge outwards even after the treatment. You might suffer from double vision, dry eyes, and incomplete eye closure. Make sure to book an appointment if you have Grave's disease.

A related study was published by Rebecca Bahn from Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, Metabolism, and Nutrition, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN in "The New England Journal of Medicine," shedding sufficient light on the topic. The paper reveals that Grave's ophthalmology has a perplexing relationship with thyroid dermopathy, skin colour, and hyperthyroidism.

Whether Your Liver is Damaged:

Look carefully into your eyes to check if there is a yellowish tint as it could be a sign of damaged liver. Your liver produces a substance called bilirubin in higher concentrations if the liver is damaged or inflamed. The higher bilirubin levels in the blood can cause yellowing of your skin and eyes.

Your doctor will then order some tests to determine the cause of liver damage. They will recommend medications and lifestyle changes to either slow or treat the liver damage.

If Your Cholesterol Levels are High:

Old age people often show the presence of Arcus senilis, a white-blue, gray, or white ring on the edge of the cornea. However, patients in their forties or younger may develop this ring, indicating higher cholesterol levels.

Your doctor may order a blood cholesterol test to confirm the elevated cholesterol levels. After evaluation, your doctor may order some lifestyle modifications or medications.

If You are Hypertensive: 

Hypertension or high blood pressure is a medical condition in which the blood exerts increased pressure on the narrow vessels. It may lead to several health abnormalities such as heart disease and stroke.

Your doctor can directly observe the blood vessels on the retina by examining the back of the eyes. If the blood vessels at the back of the eye are narrowed, then it might be a sign of blood pressure. Make sure you make the proper lifestyle changes and take medications to prevent any further damage to delicately made blood vessels.

Wrapping Up:

Your eyes act as a window to your health and soul. Most of the health conditions are indicated visible changes in the eyes. This helps your ophthalmologist to identify signs of chronic illness and other eye diseases. Before the emergence of the main symptoms, these illnesses show up in your eyes.

Thus, make sure you schedule a quarterly eye exam to maintain a healthy lifestyle. The above-mentioned health problems are some common disorders that affect eyesight. However, this is not a finite list to count on. Any kind of problem, big or small, can cause vision-related problems. Always consult an ophthalmologist if any sudden changes in vision or health are noticed.