Its unclear whether the eyes really are the windows to the soul, but they do provide a peek into what’s going on inside your body. Some things, like Graves’ disease and Jaundice, you can check yourself, while others, like diabetes and AIDS, require the expert eye of a specialist. Some internal problems that your eyes might reflect include:
1- Skin Cancer:
Tiny lumps over the eyelid or on the lower lid that result in unhealing sores and loss of eyelashes may be an indicator of basal cell carcinomas. Despite not being fatal, they can cause severe disfigurement, blindness, or even death by moving to the brain via the eye socket if they are left untreated for long. Experiencing vision distortion, flashing lights or floating spots can also be an early indication of breast or lung cancer.
2- Graves’ Disease:
Unusually bulging eyes accompanied by weight loss, nervousness and a rapid pulse are a common sign of Graves’ disease-an overactive thyroid condition. Inflammation, photosensitivity, retracted eyelids, double vision and eye pressure or pain are also common symptoms.
3- High Cholesterol and Stroke:
A gray ring around the cornea, known as ‘arcus senilis’ and caused by fat deposit accumulation surrounding the cornea, is evidence of high cholesterol and triglycerides-with a high possibility of heart attack and stroke-if observed in people under 60. A yellow corneal ring might also indicate high cholesterol levels.
4- Myasthenia Gravis:
Ptosis or droopy eyelids are a characteristic symptom of this muscle-weakening autoimmune disorder. While difficult to diagnose in milder forms, early detection can help prevent further growth of this otherwise incurable disease. Different sized pupils observed alongside ptosis indicate the neck tumor and aneurysm-causing Horner’s Syndrome that requires urgent treatment.
5- Oily Skin:
Blocked oil glands can result in the formation of tumor-like painless masses on the eyelids in oily skinned individuals. While usually disappearing on its own, the bump may become painful, red or crusty in case of infection, at which point, surgical drainage may be required. A lump-or stye-that doesn’t clear up after 3 months or reoccurs frequently in the same location might also indicate a rare ‘sebaceous gland carcinoma (cancer)’.
6- High Blood Pressure:
Bent, kinked or torn retinal blood vessels observed in a detailed eye examination exhibit high blood pressure and an increased risk of stroke. Moreover, severe inflammation of the retina might be a sign of AIDS.
Leaked blood capillaries and yellowish blood fat deposits in the retina-known as diabetic retinopathy-is a common side-effect of diabetes, and may result in blurred and poor night vision and eventual blindness. However, central vision can be saved by the surgical sealing of leaks and removal of unwanted blood vessels.
8- Multiple Sclerosis:
Although rare, eye twitches that last over a week grouped with difficulty in walking and talking may be a sign of this nervous disorder. More often, twitching eyelids-or eyelid myokymia- indicate stress, fatigue or excess caffeine consumption and can be eliminated through proper sleep and stress-relief.
9- Brain Tumors:
Loss of Peripheral (side) vision can be due to the compression of the optic nerve by the neural pituitary gland, which is enlarged due to a tumour. One should immediately seek advice of a Specialist Doctor if such a symptom presents itself.
10- Vitamin A Deficiency:
Common in developing and underdeveloped countries, night blindness in people younger than 40 indicates a Vitamin-A deficiency. Regular consumption of sweet potatoes, beef liver, spinach, carrots, and pumpkins can provide the necessary amount.
Regular eye examinations can ensure an early diagnosis of any of the above possibly difficult conditions. You can book an appointment with a top Ophthalmologist in Karachi, Lahore and Rawalpindi through oladoc.com. Or call our helpline at 042-3890-0939 for assistance to find the RIGHT Doctor for your ocular (Eye) needs.
About the Writer:
Yashfa Marrium is a freelance writer and health enthusiast. You can reach her at [email protected]