Your eyes are the windows to your soul and your health too.
Their shape and color can reveal if you have life-altering conditions. There are many ways you can keep them in a good form.
If your eyes start to look out of the ordinary, it is a sign that you need medical attention. Watch out for these red flags.
1. Bug Eyes or Eyes that Bulge
Eyes that seem to balloon are scary, not only because they make you look like the Bride of Frankenstein, but also because of what they tell you about your health.
The medical term for this is exophthalmos, which is a symptom of Grave’s disease. Dr. Robert Graves first described it in 1840. It causes the thyroid glands to produce too many hormones (hyperthyroidism). If your eyes bulge, you may have vision problems as well.
2. Grey rings
Gray does not just mean that you are aging. If you develop senilis or a gray ring around your cornea, do approach your doctor for a lipid test. It usually means that you have high triglycerides and are at risk of a heart attack or stroke.
3. Cloudy Eye
A white film covering the eyes is not a good sign. You may have a cataract if the lens of your eye becomes clouded. It can have a range of causes, including tumors and diabetes.
4. Eyelash Loss
Eyelash loss does not only create an odd look but indicates poor health as well. It may point to a basal cell carcinoma or eye cancer. Most eye diseases are not fatal; that said, they may cause death if they reach the brain. Eyelash loss can also lead to disfigurement and blindness.
5. Oily Skin
A lump under your eyelid may look like a tumor and frighten you, but it may be nothing more than excess oil under the skin. Called a Chalazion, it usually vanishes after a few days. One may surface if your skin has excess oil.
6. Droopy eyelids
If you have droopy eyelids in both eyes or ptosis, you may have myasthenia gravis. A disease that affects immunity, it is characterized by muscle weakness. If not detected early, it can be potentially deadly. Good news is that there are effective medical treatments for it.
Droopy eyelids also point to a dangerous condition known as Homer’s Syndrome. If doctors diagnose you with it, you may have tumors or aneurysms in your neck.
7. Eye Inflammation
Ophthalmologists do not just diagnose eye conditions; they can also tell if a patient has other diseases. They discover medical conditions by examining the retina. Inflamed retinas are signs of dangerous diseases, such as AIDS.
8. Twisted Blood Vessels in the Eyes
Twisted blood vessels in the eye bring on extreme pain and reveal health conditions as well. They may mean that you have an unwelcome visitor – high blood pressure. If you have dents in your retina, you may have a condition experts term AV-nicking. Dented or twisted veins in the eye suggest that you are at risk of a stroke.
9. The Sunrise: Marfan’s Syndrome
Does your eye look as though it is ready to welcome a sunrise? Are you unusually tall and thin? You may be at risk of what doctors call Marfan’s syndrome. This illness impacts the connective tissues in the eye and causes them to loosen.
The loosening creates the look of a sunrise. If you suspect that you have Marfan’s, see a doctor fast. Doctors associate it with aorta weakness. If the aorta ruptures, you may have heart failure.
10. Metastatic Cancer
Cancer in other parts of the body may first arise in the eyes. Two cancers which travel to the eyes are breast and lung cancer.
11. Blurred Vision
Pay attention if you spend a lot of time in front of the computer. If you experience blurred vision when you look at a computer screen, you may have CVS or Computer Vision Syndrome. The work involved in focusing may strain your eyes.
Blurred vision may also indicate the onset of diabetes. One of the most common causes of it is diabetic rhinopathy, which affects blood circulation within the eye. It may bring on blindness.
12. Double Vision
See a doctor immediately if you experience double vision for no apparent reason. It is one of the warning signs of stroke. If you have other symptoms like numbness or dizziness, do so at once.
13. Yellow Eyes
Yellow eyes make you look like an actor out of a horror movie, and they inspire fear for health reasons too. People with jaundice have such eyes. These include infants with poor liver functions and adults with gallbladder or bile duct conditions.
The build-up of Bilirubin, a byproduct of old red blood cells, causes the yellow color. The increase occurs when the liver cannot process them anymore.
14. Disappearing eyebrows
Check yourself in the mirror. Do your eyebrows suddenly look thinner? While having thin eyebrows is fashionable, beware if they disappear abruptly. Thin eyebrows may be a sign of thyroid disease.
The condition may cause a dropping of brow-hair near the ears. Consult a doctor if you experience hair loss in other parts of your body.
15. Shimmering lights
If you feel as though you see shimmering neon lights, you may have a condition known as an ocular migraine. A headache that may be severe enough to induce vomiting may follow. You may also feel as if you are peering through a cracked window.
How to Improve Your Eye Vision
If your eye health worries you, there is good news. You can prevent them from failing if you use these tips.
Protect Your Vision
A good way to protect your vision is to view computer screens from a distance. Screens have infiltrated our lives. We look at smartphones, tablets, and e-readers every day. They blur your vision and make it hard for you to focus.
Optometrists suggest that you will take longer to refocus your eyes if you view them from close range. Look at them from at least an arm’s length.
Blinking exercises are essential because the upper eyelid spreads the tears in your eye. They prevent your cornea from drying out and becoming irritated.
Wear sunglasses when you go out in the sun.
Your vision deteriorates when too many UV rays touch your eyes. They promote cancerous growths. Look for shades with ANSI label, which means that the American National Standards Institute has approved them.
Stock up on seafood.
The Omega-3 fatty acids in them decrease the risk of eye diseases. According to experts, eating swordfish once a week can reduce them by 42%.
For good eye health, eat more green leafy vegetables.
Broccoli, zucchini, peas and Brussels sprouts contain Vitamin A, which improves your vision. A study in the journal, Advances in Nutrition found that leafy greens lower the effects of glare, which helps prevent your eyesight from deteriorating.
Take more green tea.
It hydrates you and is full of antioxidants like lutein in and zeaxanthin. The Chinese University of Hong Kong has proven that the retina absorbs the catechins they contain.
Moistening Your Contacts
If you have the awful habit of moistening your contacts with your saliva, do rethink it. It introduces bacteria into them and may cause infections. Remove your contacts before you sleep, and wear your glasses once a week.
If you wear a lot of makeup, be aware of what it may do to your eyes. Bacteria make their home in eyeshadow and mascara. Putting eyeliner in your eyes blocks the oil glands, which offer protection.
Wear Safety Goggles
Wear safety goggles when welding, drilling or doing maintenance work around the house. According to optometrists, the chemicals you use for these projects may damage your eyes.
Be aware of what your eyes tell you about your health because it may save you a lot of angst. Practice good vision care as well.
By Michelle L.