Things Your Eyes Reveal About Your Health

Did you know that your eyes may warn you of a variety of diseases that you might not even know you have?

Eyes, the window to the soul, are so precious that keeping them healthy can have a great impact on the quality of your life. Your eyes can tell quite a lot about your health -- and some things you can see simply by looking in the mirror.

Blurred Vision
This can be a sign of diabetes, which causes too much sugar in your blood. Diabetes affects the small capillaries in the retina of the eyes. These blood vessels may leak blood or a yellowish fluid. You may have blurred vision and find it hard to see at night. This condition is known as diabetic retinopathy.

Bug Eyes
When you look in the mirror, does it look like your eyes are bugging out? Bug eyes might indicate Graves' disease. Graves' disease causes your thyroid gland to release too many hormones, which can lead to this problem. It also may cause diarrhea, weight loss, and hand tremors.

Cloudy Eyes
This is a cataract -- a clouding of the lens inside the eye. The condition, which can be corrected with surgery, is most common in older people. Cataracts that arise in younger people can have a variety of causes, including tumors and diabetes, as well as side effects from certain medications.

Droopy Eyelids
Ophthalmologists say that droopy eyelids on one or both sides can be evidence of myasthenia gravis -- an autoimmune disease characterized by severe muscle weakness.

Droopy Eyelids and Different Size Pupils
Drooping eyes coupled with pupils of different sizes might be a clue that you are suffering from Horner syndrome. If you see this condition when you look in a mirror, seek immediate medical attention because it is sometimes associated with aneurysms and tumors in the neck.

Eye Twitch
An eyelid twitch is common and annoying but not usually serious. It’s called eyelid myokymia. Most often, there's no definite cause and it goes away by itself. They can be associated with alcohol, fatigue, caffeine, or smoking. Simply make lifestyle changes in those areas.

Grey Ring around the Cornea
Some people develop a grey ring around the edge of the cornea. The ring, which doctors call arcus senilis, often goes hand in hand with high cholesterol and triglycerides, and an increased risk for heart attack and stroke. If you notice a ring around your cornea, you should have a blood test to check for elevated blood lipids, especially if you are under the age of 60.

Sore on Eyelids
Basal cell carcinomas can show up in some pretty strange places, including the eyelid, where it often causes a sore that doesn't heal and the loss of eyelashes. If you experience this, do not ignore it and hope it will disappear. Although basal cell skin cancers are not usually fatal, they can cause severe disfigurement, blindness and even death if they reach the brain through the eye socket.

Yellow Whites of Your Eyes
When your skin and eyes look yellow, that's called jaundice. It often means you have liver problems and is caused by high levels of bilirubin, 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.
Those particular conditions can be potentially fatal diseases, but with good medical treatment, you have a much better chance of survival, along with a better quality of life. Comprehensive eye exams are recommended once every two years for optimum eye health and overall wellness.

photo: cnn.com

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