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The Eyes Have It: What Your Eyes Say About Your Health

The Eyes Have It: What Your Eyes Say About Your Health

(Copyright Fotolia)

By    |   Tuesday, 20 September 2016 02:34 PM EDT

Your eyes aren't just a window to your soul; they're a window to your health.

Your eyes can signal health problems to the casual observer, and a simple eye exam can alert doctors to many dangerous, even potentially fatal medical problems.

What do your eyes say about your health? Open your eyes, and take a look in the mirror:

Bugged. Bulging or protruding eyes are a sign of hyperthyroidism or overactive thyroid, a condition in which the thyroid gland makes too much thyroid hormone.

Graves' disease, the most common form of hyperthyroidism, is an autoimmune disorder that causes the thyroid gland to be too active.

Blue. Blue and green eyes contain less pigment than brown eyes; they filter out less light, which makes them more light sensitive and more likely to develop macular degeneration with age.

On the plus side, studies have found that blue-eyed people are less sensitive to pain than those with brown eyes.

Different-sized pupils. Pupils should be the same size and react the same way to light. But if one pupil is larger, or enlarges more slowly in response to dimming light, it could indicate a brain or optic nerve tumor, multiple sclerosis, or a brain aneurysm.

Droopy eyelids. Droopy eyelids can be a sign of the muscle-weakening immune disease myasthenia gravis, but a single droopy eyelid can signal a stroke or Bell's palsy, a temporary facial paralysis.

Bloodshot. If you've been getting plenty of sleep and haven't been overindulging in alcohol, bloodshot eyes may be a sigh of uveitis — inflammation in the eye.

Uveitis can be a clue that something's seriously amiss elsewhere in your body, such as rheumatoid arthritis.

Bloodshot eyes could also be the result of vessels that burst as a result of high blood pressure.

White or gray rings. White rings, called senilis, around the cornea can be a sign of high cholesterol and high tryglcerides, and can indicate the person has a higher risk for heart attack and stroke. But they can also be a sign of aging.

Foggy pupils. Pupils that are foggy is a common sign of cataracts, a condition associated with aging. According to a study published in the American Journal of Ophthalmology, people with dark eyes have 1.5 to 2.5 greater risk of cataracts than those with lighter eyes.

White fat deposits around eye. Deposits of fat under the skin around the eyelids called xanthelasmas indicate high cholesterol levels — they're even called "cholesterol bumps" and there will probably be more than one.

Swollen, itchy eyes. Eyes that are swollen, red, and itchy are signs you have allergies. Triggered by pollen, dust, or pet dander, allergies can be treated with eye drops and antihistamines.

Under-eye circles. Dark circles under the eyes can be caused by lack of sleep, allergies, aging, or genetics.

If you have light or thin skin under the eyes, blood that can accumulate there when a lack of sleep slows your circulation a bit, creates dark circles. The circles are more obvious than in someone with darker, thicker skin.

Yellow. If the whites of your eyes are yellow, it can indicate diseases of the liver, including hepatitis and cirrhosis. It's caused by an excess of bilirubin in the blood, a yellow pigment made during the breakdown of red blood cells.

Looking for nutrients to improve your eye health, especially as you age? Try taking supplements of lutein and zeaxanthin. Numerous studies have found that they reduce the risk of cataracts, and age-related macular degeneration.
 

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Headline
Your eyes aren't just a window to your soul; they're a window to your health. Your eyes can signal health problems to the casual observer, and a simple eye exam can alert doctors to many dangerous, even potentially fatal medical problems. What do your eyes say about your...
eye, window, health, signal, problems
580
2016-34-20
Tuesday, 20 September 2016 02:34 PM
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