Signs Your Eyes Are Telling You About Your Health
It has often been said that your eyes are the windows to the soul. They can also be the windows to your health as well. Maintaining eye contact with your reflection can reveal a host of information about your current state of health and unlock several doors to possible underlying conditions.
Your Eyes, Your Health
Our eyes are considered an important organ for relating to others and to the world around us. Many of our experiences are described in visual terms while interest is expressed by where we let our gaze fall. Eyes can be alluring or haunting. When it comes to taking care of our eyes we put a lot of effort into making sure they look good and can see even better. If anything changes we take notice. Any abnormalities or vision problems should not be ignored as these can be clues to underlying health conditions.
Decoding the Messages of Your Eyes
Take a look in the mirror and see what your eyes are trying to tell you! Sometimes the messages our eyes send us can be read easily, such as a persistent stye. Others may only be noticed by an ophthalmologist, such as a high blood pressure reading during an annual vision exam. Most of the following messages are easy to discern and may indicate a wide range of health concerns. Always check with your physician or ophthalmologist concerning any sudden changes in your vision or your eyes as these could be signs of an emergency.
What Do Your Eyes Reveal About Your Health?
A typical stye is a caused by a bacterial infection within the follicle of an eyelash. They usually clear up within a few days and are nothing to worry about. However, should you have a stye that hasn’t disappeared after nearly three months it may be time to schedule a visit with a doctor. This could be a sign of a signal cancer known as sebaceous gland carcinoma.
2. Thinning Eyebrows
Eyebrows frame the eyes and get just as much attention. While people pluck, sculpt, paint and draw their eyebrows to perfection it’s a bet that you’ll notice any changes in them as well. Thinning eyebrows can be a sign of health trouble, even if the damage can be hidden. Loss of eyebrows, especially if accompanied with hair loss, can signal possible thyroid issues such as hypothyroidism which should be addressed ASAP.
Jaundice is the condition where the whites of your eyes and skin take on a yellow pallor. This is more common in infants with liver failure but it can happen in adults. If your eyes and skin are showing a yellow color it could be a sign of liver, gallbladder or bile duct issues. Since there are a number of conditions that cause jaundice, contact your physician ASAP should this happen.
4. Migraine Aura
Sometimes your eyes may tell you something is wrong by playing with your vision. Anyone who suffers a migraine can tell you about the migraine aura, a visual disturbance that often accompanies the debilitating headaches. Sometimes the aura can occur without the headache leaving you wondering if you’re going to get a headache and unable to see clearly. Should the aura arrive your eyes may be telling you a migraine is imminent. Prepare for a migraine in whatever way you need to, whether that be taking medication to prevent it or sequestering yourself away for the afternoon.
5. Bulging Eyes
Eyes that protrude from their usual position may be a sign of hyperthyroidism. However, since there are a number of health concerns that may cause eyes to bulge outward it is good to seek medical advice if you notice this condition.
6. Blurred Vision
While blurry vision may be a sign that you need an eye exam (unless it comes on suddenly), it could just be your eyes’ way of saying you need a break from your computer. The lack of contrast on a computer screen combined with intense focus often leads to our eyes losing focus and vision becoming unclear. Be sure to take a break from your work periodically to avoid strain.
7. Blurred Vision for Diabetics
Blurry vision can also be an early sign of diabetes if you are at risk for developing it. Diabetes complications as well as insulin treatments can lead to blurred vision. Take care to pay attention to any changes in your eyes that occur as these could indicate how well your diabetes is responding to treatment or be early signals of developing vision problems to address.
8. Horner’s Syndrome
Your eyes can alert you in severe cases that something is wrong. Although rare, such is the case with Horner’s Syndrome. Should you notice drooping eyelids or pupils of differing size it would be wise to see medical assistance quickly. Horner’s Syndrome may arise from aneurysms or tumors in the neck, usually indicating a disruption in the nerve pathways from the brain to the face on one side of the body.
9. High Blood Pressure
Your eyes won’t tell you this so much as they will your ophthalmologist. During a routine eye exam they may note that you have high blood pressure even before your doctor does. During a retinal exam, the blood vessels of your eyes will be viewed. If there are any kinks or twists in them this is a sign of high blood pressure. Check up with your physician afterwards to double check that your eyes are correct.
10. Sudden Changes in Vision
If you should experience any sudden changes in vision or the appearance of your eyes, seek medical attention immediately. These could be signs of a medical emergency, such as a stroke. Vision problems associated with a stroke include double vision, dim vision or loss of vision in one or both eyes. There are other symptoms associated with stroke, such as slurred speech and confusion, which can help you determine the best course of action.
11. Other Issues:
- Burning, Stinging, Itching Eyes: Can indicate allergies or infection.
- Floaters: Are usually benign but can be a precursor to retinal detachment and is best to have them checked.
- Irregular Pupil Dilation: Can indicate adrenal issues.