They say that the eyes are the windows to the soul. But they could also be the window into your health. Your eyes are affected by many diseases and problems, and doctors can learn a surprising amount just by looking into your baby blues.
Your eyes could be hiding the secrets of any of the following diseases… and more!
1. High Cholesterol
High cholesterol is commonly caused by eating poorly. Fatty foods, excess alcohol and snacking can all build up cholesterol in your body. High cholesterol frequently causes yellowish bumps to appear in the eyelids and white rings around the eyes. These are classic symptoms of high cholesterol levels in your body. If you start seeing such symptoms, it might be time to see a doctor. Speaking of bad diets you might have…
Like high cholesterol, other symptoms of a poor diet manifest in the eye. Red spots, caused by dots of blood in the eye, can be a sign of diabetes, one of the most common conditions in the UK. If blood sugar builds up too high, blood vessels get blocked and swell up. This can burst the tiny blood vessels in the retina, causing bleeding. If diabetes goes untreated, it can lead to impaired vision or even permanent blindness.
3. Pressure Building Up in the Brain
Increased pressure around the brain (idiopathic intracranial hypertension) is relatively rare, but is most commonly seen in overweight young women. While the primary symptom is headache, it can also cause blurry or double vision, and can lead to vision loss if not corrected. And of course, pressure on the brain could also be caused by…
4. …Brain Aneurysm
A brain aneurysm is a weak blood vessel in your brain that causes one part to bulge out. If the vessel breaks, it can cause death very quickly. Often aneurysms go unnoticed for years until someone suddenly drops dead. Fortunately, a routine eye exam could actually save your life. If you’re experiencing blurry vision, eye pain, headaches, or loss of vision, it is vital that you visit a specialist. The tell-tale sign is drooping eyelids, an indicator that a blood vessel may have ruptured or is leaking. But you may also experience swelling of your optic nerve, increased pressure in your eye, and bleeding in the retina. Crossed eyes can be another sign of bleeding in the brain, possibly from an aneurysm or even a stroke.
5. Ocular Melanoma
It turns out that you can actually get freckles in your eyes! An optometrist can check for ocular melanoma, a rare form of melanoma but one that usually can’t be detected by looking in the mirror. If other causes of pressure or pain in the eye are ruled out, the next step is to determine if a brain tumour is a possibility.
6. Mental Health
It’s been known for nearly a century that people with mental illnesses like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder have different eye tracking patterns. Schizophrenic patients, for example, struggle to keep their eyes focused on slow-moving objects. But it’s only recently that doctors have been able to map those movements. Technology developed to diagnose glaucoma is now also being used to map out the visual inconsistencies of mental illness to identify the notoriously difficult to diagnose condition.
With a regular eye exam you can discover so much more than whether you have 20/20 vision. The condition of your health can be right on your face, and your optometrist is there to make sure you live a healthy and active life. Book an next eye test with your local Eyesite specialist today.