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8 Things Your Eyes Are Trying to Tell You About Your Health

8 minute read


Your eyes are the window to your soul, a phrase we have all heard and probably said. Who knows where it came from or what it’s origins are but there is some real truth to it. Eyes can tell a lot about a person.

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In fact, many use eye contact as a way to communicate and to determine whether or not they trust a person. Eyes convey every emotion even when we don’t want them to. And now, it seems they give away even more information; your eyes can tell you a lot about the state of your health.

Various signs and symptoms involving the eyes can be indication of more serious health concerns, so it’s important to be aware of various clues given by the eyes with reference to health.

A Permanent Sty

If you have ever experienced a sty, you’re aware of how painful and irritating they can be. A sty is a lump on your eyelid that appears because of a blocked sebaceous gland. Typically, styes go away after a few days but sometimes they can be more lingering.

When this happens, a sty is no longer only irritating, but become a major inconvenience. A lingering sty could be an indicator of sebaceous gland carcinoma, so if you notice that it seems to have taken up permanent residence by your eye, it may be time to consult a doctor.


Eyebrow Loss

Eyebrow loss, known as madarosis, can be due to a number of causes, including aging, stress, and nutrient deficiency. Additional possible causes include telogen effluvium, secondary or tertiary syphilis, alopecia areata, or spot baldness, which only occurs in 0.1 percent of the population.

Eyebrow loss may also be due to a tumor, certain drugs, including chemotherapy, or hypervitaminosis A, or excessive vitamin A.

Blurred Vision

Since we spend hours in front of computer screens, experiencing blurred vision is hardly uncommon.The prominence of technology in our lives has lead to the development of a special term for burning eyes and blurred vision as a result of too much screen time.

Dry eye syndrome or digital eye strain are common medical terms these days, referring to vision problems associated with prolonged computer, tablet, smartphone, and e-book use.

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Cataracts can also be a cause of blurred or clouded vision and occur in half of adults over 80. Cataracts are due to the clouding of the lens of the eye.

If blurred vision is accompanied by the following symptoms, it may be caused by an accompanying medical issue. See a physician to rule out medical problems.

♦ Confusion or trouble talking

♦ Dizziness or difficulty walking

♦ Eye pain or discomfort

♦ Eye redness

♦ Eyestrain

♦ Headache

♦ Numbness or weakness on one side of the body

♦ Other sensory disturbances

♦ Swelling around the eye

Be sure to speak with your doctor right away if  you notice the symptoms because there are solutions are available. Additionally, taking breaks from the screen during your work day may help tremendously.  

Blind Spots

Very different from the blind spots you have to heed when driving a car, blind spots accompanied by sparkling dots or wavy lines are typically associated with an ocular migraine. These types of migraines are identified by the presence of an aura or flashing lights and also by the presence of a blind spot in the field of vision.

If you experience migraines with an aura, be evaluated by a physician to determine the cause. With treatment, the blind spots may disappear.


Bulging Eyes

Eyes that seem to protrude can be a sign of a serious medical condition. This bulging is known as proptosis or exophthalmos. The latter is typically caused by Graves disease, which causes hyperthyroidism or an overactive thyroid.

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Other possible medical conditions that give the appearance of eye bulging include Cushing disease and severe obesity.

Symptoms that may accompany bulging eyes include dryness and irritation because the eyes are unable to close completely. If you experience bulging eyes, you might also experience double vision or difficulty focusing, Untreated, the condition can lead to impaired vision due to changes in the optic nerve.


Yellowing of Whites of Eyes

If you notice that the whites of your eyes seem tinged with yellow, see a physician as soon as possible because this could signify jaundice, which occurs when your body is unable to clear the bilirubin broken down from the hemoglobin.

Bilirubin moves from the liver to the bile ducts before being released into the stool. Jaundice could be due to a breakdown in any step in the process and would be accompanied by yellowing of the skin.

Yellowing of the eyes could signify problems with the liver, gallbladder, pancreas, or other organs, as well as cirrhosis or scarring of the liver. Causes of cirrhosis include alcohol abuse, liver cancer or infection, or non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, as well as hepatitis B or C.

Cloudy Vision (with Diabetes)

Diabetes can lead to numerous associated health problems, including diabetic retinopathy, caused by damage of the blood vessels in the photosensitive retinal tissue, which leads to cloudy vision. If you are diabetic and experience cloudy vision, see your doctor immediately.

Impaired Vision or Vision Loss

Essentially any sudden change in your vision should alert you to a problem, warranting a visit to the doctor. Even if the impairment happens briefly and goes away, these signs would indicate a serious problem. Temporary vision loss or impairment can indicate a stroke and needs to be looked at immediately.  

 

The Bottom Line

Changes in the appearance of the eyes or in vision may be a sign of various health conditions, from jaundice caused by organ problems to diabetic retinopathy, or Graves disease.

If you experience either a long-term or even a temporary change in vision, see a doctor to determine whether you have a medical problem. Problems like styes and migraines are treatable with the help of a physician.

Whether eye problems or changes can alert us to another health problem or whether limited to the eye, paying attention to the eyes is an important part of health.

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  1. http://www.merckmanuals.com/home/eye-disorders/symptoms-of-eye-disorders/eyes
  2. -bulging
  3. https://www.mayoclinic.org/symptom-checker/vision-problems-adult/related-factors/itt-20009075
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3358936/
  5. https://www.healthline.com/symptom/yellow-eyes
  6. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/003029.htm
  7. https://www.webmd.boots.com/eye-health/guide/stye-symptoms-diagnosis-treatment
  8. https://nei.nih.gov/health/diabetic/retinopathy

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