What Your Eyes Can Tell You about Your Health

Senior Person EyesHuman eyes have often been referred to as the window to the soul. While this may or may not be true, our eyes do have the ability to tell a vibrant story about our health. By simply looking into someone’s eyes, you can often tell if they have very obvious eye issues such as cataracts or glaucoma. However, by noticing a few simple details about the person, you can easily tell if they have a little more going on with their health. For seniors, checking their eyes and on a routine basis could help them aid their doctors in finding, diagnosing and treating various diseases. If you are a senior and wish to keep your body healthy and mind happy as you age, then you can start by taking a good look in the mirror to search for changes in your eyes. Plus, keeping tabs on subtle changes in your vision can make a huge difference in your health. Here are a few signs that you should be looking for to keep your health in tip top shape.

Chronic Styes

Styes are reddish bumps that can pop up around your eyes. Often, they are nothing to worry about and go away on their own. However, if you have a stye that has been around for a few weeks or consistently get styes around your eyes then it may be a sign of a bigger issue. Chronic styes that stick around for weeks and even months can be a sign of a rare form of cancer known as sebaceous gland carcinoma. This cancer affects the oil glands (sebaceous glands) of your body, and can easily be diagnosed by taking a biopsy of the stye. If you have a stye that will not go away, and have lost a few of your eyelashes around the stye, then call your optometrist to set up an appointment. It is always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to cancer.

Bumpy Patches on Your Eyelids

Bumpy patches that suddenly appear on your eyelids can be a sign of high cholesterol. These bumps can be yellowish in color and can populate your eyelids and the areas of skin around your eyes. They are often referred to as cholesterol bumps by doctors because they are actually fat deposits on your skin from eating high fat foods. If you are not already on cholesterol medicine or have not had your cholesterol checked, then call your doctor to set up an appointment. With a simple blood test you can see if your cholesterol is too high then you can acclimate your diet to eat lower fat foods and the bumps should disappear.

Small Blind Spots in Your Vision or Wavy Lines in Vision

Small blind spots in your vision or wavy line in vision can be signs of ocular migraines. Ocular migraines sound pretty painful, but they usually do not produce any pain whatsoever. Instead, ocular migraines produce distorted vision that may or may not be accompanied by a headache. People who suffer from ocular migraines will complain about their vision becoming distorted in the center of their field of vision. They often see dots in their vision and can even see wavy lines. If you experience any of these symptoms you should  talk to your eye doctor especially if you have many recurrences and they last for hours at a time.

Yellowish Whites of Eyes

If the whites of your eyes have turned yellow, then it could be a sign that your liver is not functioning properly and you have jaundice. Seniors who have liver issues such as hepatitis or cirrhosis are at a greater risk for developing jaundice than other populations. If the whites of your eyes yellow frequently, or stay yellow, then contact your doctor. They can run tests to determine if your liver is functioning properly and to see if you need treatment.

Bulging Eyes

If your eyes have taken on a bulging appearance, then it may be a sign of a thyroid problem. Hyperthyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland is overactive and produces too much of the hormone thyroxine. In turn, your metabolism will speed up, you will feel hungry constantly, and your eyes could begin to appear bulged. This condition develops very slowly so your eyes may change in appearance overtime. If you notice that your eyes change and begin to appear more bulged contact your doctor. With a simple blood test, your doctor can determine the levels of thyroid hormone in your blood and prescribe you the proper treatment.

Blurred Vision in Diabetics

Diabetics have an increased risk of developing many diseases, including eye diseases. One of the most common eye issues that is associated with diabetes is glaucoma. If you are diabetic and suddenly see a decrease in your vision then call your optometrist immediately. You could be experiencing glaucoma. This disease causes the pressures in your eyes to rise, and if left untreated, it could damage your ocular nerve and could cause you to lose your sight completely. Changes in your vision should be reported to your eye doctor immediately if you are diabetic so that they can prescribe you the proper treatment to keep you seeing clearly.

Eye issues increase as people grow older. As people age their eyes begin to lose the ability to obtain as many nutrients, and therefore people often have blurred vision as they grow older. Other eye issues that are prevalent in older populations include glaucoma and cataracts. As you grow older, it is important to see an eye doctor and a general practitioner on a regular basis. They can do preventative care to ensure that you will stay healthy as you age. If you want to keep your own health in check, then one simple way to do so is to look for any of the above signs in your eyes and your vision. Your eyes can truly tell you a lot about yourself and can show early signs of various diseases. Check your eyes routinely, eat well and exercise regularly and you will be on your way to living a long, fruitful life.

Please check these additional posts about vision and eyes health in our home care blog:

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