The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light.
For ophthalmologists, the eye is a “window” that they can peek through, allowing them to clue into several health issues, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc.
Yes…we know it can be a surprising fact, too. If you didn’t know, now you know. The health of your eyes does say a lot about the health of your overall body.
So, since the old adage goes ‘health is wealth’, let’s jump right in and peek into the 7 things your eyes are trying to tell you about your health.
If tiny blood vessels in the retina of your eyes are found to be leaky, it can be signalling high blood sugar or diabetes.
Diabetic retinopathy, as the condition is called, is a complication of diabetes that negatively affects the eyes. High levels of blood sugar can damage the back of the eye (retina) and cause blindness.
High Blood Pressure
Damaged retinal blood vessels also reveal high blood pressure aka hypertension. In this case, it leads to a condition known as hypertensive retinopathy. Relevant symptoms include double or dim vision, sudden loss of vision, and headaches. However, sometimes, it may not have any symptoms at all.
As we may all know, high cholesterol is infamous for being the culprit of heart diseases and stroke. This “notorious fella” carries a few signs around the eyes that indicate its presence of bad influence, i.e., having too much of a fatty substance in your body.
One of them can be through your eyelids. Yellow, fatty cholesterol deposits can sometimes be seen on the eyelids or skin around the eyelids. Besides, through a microscope, ophthalmologists can look for the fat deposits in the cornea, which are called corneal arcus. Corneal arcus causes a grey ring to develop around the cornea. Next, cholesterol may also be seen blocking retinal arteries during a clinical examination.
Corneal arcus. Up: An indication of a higher level of cholesterol. Bottom: An indication of a lower level of cholesterol.
The thyroid gland is vital in producing hormones for metabolism, growth, and development of the human body.
Hyperthyroidism is an autoimmune condition which causes the thyroid gland to produce excessive levels of thyroid hormone. Some symptoms of this condition are protruding eyeballs or retracting eyelids, blurry vision, and dry eyes; all of which can be picked up during an eye test.
Other than systemic disorders, an eye test also discloses conditions related to the brain as the eyes are connected directly to the brain via optic nerves.
Brain tumours can cause swelling and pressure that impacts the back of the eye.
When this happens, double vision, loss of peripheral vision, or a change in pupil size may occur.
Brain aneurysm (AN-yoo-riz-um) refers to a bulge in a blood vessel in the brain. This bulge can leak or rupture, thereby causing haemorrhagic strokes.
To detect brain aneurysm, ophthalmologists would look into pupil abnormalities or eye movement.
Stroke happens when there is a blockage in the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain. If stroke is present, one may suffer from blindness and visual field defects as blockages in the blood vessels of the retina can bring out such symptoms.
In a clinical eye test, ophthalmologists are able to determine if there are any blockages in the blood vessels at the back of the eye, thus helping to check if there is a danger of stroke or not.
Keep your eyes in check, and your health will stay in check! Drop by our eye specialist centre and make an appointment for a professional eye test now!
Dr Ong Chin Tuan
Consultant Ophthalmologist, Oculoplastic and Lacrimal Surgeon