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The Eyes Are A Window To The {Healthy} Soul

If you look in the mirror, your eyes could be saying something about your health. Several medical conditions, many of them serious, have symptoms that can be seen in your eyes.

Among them are high cholesterol, stroke, and an overactive thyroid or Graves’ disease.
Here are a few things to look for that may help you pinpoint chronic conditions, and may answer some nagging questions you’ve wondered about.

Bulging eyes

The over-sized, constant look of surprise can indicate an overactive thyroid. One in every three people who have an overactive thyroid gland will have thyroid eye disease – Grave’s disease. The eyes have a tell-tale bulging appearance known as exophthalmos. People with related thyroid issues may also feel some discomfort in the form of dryness and grittiness. Double vision is another possible symptom.

An ophthalmologist may diagnose the problem, but it is cared for by an endocrinologist. Graves’ disease causes your thyroid gland to release too many hormones, which can lead to the bulging as well as double vision and vision loss. It also may cause diarrhea, weight loss, and hand tremors. Medication or surgery can help control the amount of hormones your thyroid makes, but they won’t cure the underlying disease.

Bad news: it may not correct the eye bulge. Good news: it can help you get the treatment you need to stay in good health.

White or yellow bumps near the eyes or nose

This can be a sign of high cholesterol. The bumps are actually xanthelasma deposits, and their presence should prompt you to have your cholesterol level checked with a blood test. High levels of cholesterol can build up in the artery walls and reduce blood flow to the heart.

Yellow Eyes

Jaundice is a top cause behind yellow coloring in eyes, and even the skin can take on a yellowish hue. It often means you have liver problems and is caused by high levels of bilirubin, that’s something your liver makes more of when it’s inflamed or damaged. Bad diet, cancer, infection, and chronic alcohol abuse can all damage your liver. Treatment ranges from lifestyle changes to medication to liver transplants. 

Light inner eyelids

If all is well, you should be ‘in the pink’ if you pull down your lower eye lid and take a look. But someone with anemia, or a low blood count, will have lighter eyelids. Symptoms of anemia include tiredness, shortness of breath, palpitations and feeling faint. It’s more common in women and is often caused by an iron deficiency.

If anaemia is left untreated, it can make you more susceptible to illness and infection, as a lack of iron affects the body’s natural defense systems.

Pregnant women with severe or untreated anaemia have a higher risk of complications before and after birth.

Blurry vision

Yeah, this isn’t visible on the outside, but you can ‘see’ it. There are several potential issues related to this. The most important to check for are stroke and diabetes.

If field of your vision is limited or impaired, you could have suffered a stroke. Vision requires a complex neurological process. If you have a stroke (bleed to the brain or lack of blood going to a part of the brain) your vision will be affected.

Blurry vision can also be a sign of diabetes, which causes too much sugar in your blood. If it isn’t well managed, you may get diabetic retinopathy (when tiny blood vessels in your eyes leak blood and other fluids). This can cause blurred vision and make it hard to see at night. Doctors can use a laser to help seal the leaks and get rid of unwanted new blood vessels.

No need to be overly alarmed by any of this. Look at these indicators as a suggestion to screen for health conditions. As is the case with most medical issues, early diagnosis and treatment leads to much better outcomes!

What do you think?


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