We all have probably heard the old sayings, “She has bedroom eyes” or, “Watch out for those cat eyes.” Well, that’s just old sayings that were handed down to us from eons ago. What we are about to talk about goes deeper than “skin deep”.
If you have an abrupt and dramatic loss of vision this might be a sign of a problem of the blood flow to your eye or your brain. You should seek immediate medical attention to prevent serious damage that may even save your life. If the vision gets better quickly, it could still be a warning of a stroke or possibly the beginning of a migraine headache.
Graves’ disease causes your thyroid gland to release too many hormones, and might cause bulging eyes. It might also cause diarrhea, weight loss and hand tremors. To control the amount of hormones your thyroid makes, medication or surgery can help.
Blurred vision can be a sign of diabetes, from too much sugar in the blood. It must be well managed or you could get diabetic retinopathy. These are tiny blood vessels in your eyes that leak blood and other fluids. Blurred vision at night that finds it hard to see is also a sign. Usually an ophthalmologist can seal the leaks with a laser and get rid of unwanted new blood vessels.
If you notice a ring around your cornea you could have corneal arcus. This causes a gray-white line of fat deposits to grow on the outside edge of your cornea. The deposits sometimes make a complete ring. Older people probably have nothing to worry about. If you are under 40 it could be a sign of dangerously high cholesterol.
Myasthenia gravis can have a symptom of drooping eyelids that make your immune system attack and weaken your muscles. Your eye, face and throat muscles are affected and can make it difficult to chew, swallow or even speak. Your blood may need to be filtered to help ease your symptoms, but it doesn’t work for long. Medication can be used but surgery is needed to remove the thymus gland.
What about the yellow whites of your eyes? If your skin and eyes look yellow, it’s jaundice. That means you have liver problems and is caused by high levels of bilirubin that is made by your liver. More is made when it’s inflamed or damaged, causing the high bilirubin levels. Bad diet, cancer, infection and chronic alcohol abuse can all damage your liver.
If you are experiencing eye twitches they are extremely common and almost always harmless that usually go away on their own. Sometimes they are associated with alcohol, fatigue, caffeine or smoking. In rare cases they can be a sign of a problem with your nervous system.. An example would be multiple sclerosis. There would be other symptoms, too, like difficulty walking, talking and going to the bathroom.
If it’s difficult for you to see in dim light, you may need glasses or you might have cataracts. Cataracts are a natural part of aging. Night blindness is not common among younger people in the U.S. If this happens, you may not be getting enough vitamin A. This is pretty common in poorer countries and treated with supplements or a diet with food high in vitamin A like sweet potatoes, beef liver, spinach, carrots and pumpkins.
So, there you are. The eyes can tell you a great deal about your health in general. Pay attention to the sign and keep safe and healthy.
– Dr Fredda Branyon