Our eyes can reveal a lot about us, especially when it comes to our overall health. Did you know your eyes are the only part of your body that have exposed blood vessels? Quite literally our eyes are a window into our bodies. I think it’s fascinating that the body part we use to see externally is also the part that acts as an indicator that allows us to see internally. Many health issues, not just eye health ailments, exhibit symptoms that impact our eyes and vision. This is why eye exams are so important and beneficial: they can detect both eye problems AND other health issues. Your eyes can indicate health issues in a large range including migraines, liver issues, high blood pressure, aneurysm, arthritis, diabetes, stroke, and many more. Today, let’s take a look at some of the potential symptoms your eyes could exhibit and possible health issues that could be indicated.
Of course this is purely for informative purposes and only a partial look at health issues and symptoms, and in no way can replace advice, diagnosis, or treatment of your qualified optometrist or ophthalmologist. You should never self-diagnose and should always consult your eye doctor if you have any concerns, eye issues or symptoms. Schedule an eye exam online through Pearle Vision in your area.
The Vision Symptoms & What They Could Mean
• Eye and/or Vision Symptom(s): Small Blind Sight in your Vision; possible Shimmering Lights or Wavy Line
• Could Mean: Ocular Migraine
30% of individuals who suffer from migraines have ocular migraines. These ocular migraines can yield blind spots, shimmering lights, or wavy lines in your vision. Ocular migraines indicate change in the blood flow to the brain, and aren’t always necessarily accompanied by a headache.
• Eye and/or Vision Symptom(s): Sudden Vision Loss, Dimming, or Double Vision
• Could Mean: Stroke
The 3rd leading cause of death in the United States, strokes are frequently accompanied by vision symptoms including blurry or double vision, and dimming or loss of vision often in one eye. Some have difficulty moving their eye to look left or right. If you or someone you know are experiencing a sudden onset of these symptoms, seek immediate professional medical attention.
• Eye and/or Vision Symptom(s): Bumpy Patches or Yellowing of Skin on Eyelid
• Could Mean: High Cholesterol
The bumpy, yellowing patches are sometimes called “cholesterol bumps” and could mean high cholesterol. These bumps are comprised of fatty deposits accumulated due to cholesterol. Changes in diet and medication can often treat high cholesterol. Consult your doctor to determine treatment that works for you.
• Eye and/or Vision Symptom(s): Whites of Eyes Appear Yellow
• Could Mean: Liver Problems
Also called Jaundice, yellowing of the eyes is highly prevalent in newborns: 60% of newborn babies suffer from jaundice at some point, usually due to immature liver functions. Yellowing in adult eyes can indicate liver, gallbladder, or bile duct issues. The yellowing is caused by excess bilirubin, a symptom indicating the liver’s failure to produce red blood cells.
• Eye and/or Vision Symptom(s): Bulging Eyes
• Could Mean: Graves Disease/Overactive Thyroid
3 million Americans have Graves Disease, an autoimmune disease due to an overactive thyroid gland. In addition to bulging eyes, some ocular symptoms include upper eyelid retraction, dryness, and difficulty producing tears.