Our eyes have always been called the windows to the soul. While that may be true to certain extents, theyre also windows to our health, and its becoming more important to have them checked regularly. Not only are eye disorders diagnosed through regular examinations, but things like heart disease and diabetes can also be revealed by eye exams when they may take months or even years longer to develop symptoms that would show up elsewhere. The eyes are the only place on the body where bare nerves and veins can be examined without any surgical procedures. Here are some signs for you or your eye doctor to look for, and what they could mean for your overall health:
A genetic mutation known as heterochromia iridis is a condition where each eye can be a different color, and while it is usually inherited it could also be a sign of other changes. If one eye changes color it could be due to bleeding, inflammation, glaucoma, or even neurofibromatosis, which can cause tumor growth on nerves. A yellow color to the eyes is usually a sign of liver disease like hepatitis or cirrhosis.
For most healthy people their pupils are identical. They respond to light the same way, theyre symmetrical, the same size, etc. Differences in the pupils could be a sign of some very severe issues that could even include multiple sclerosis, aneurysm, syphilis, or stroke. This isnt always the case as a number of medications can cause the pupils to look much smaller or larger than normal.
As we age, its normal for our eyelids to droop a little as we lose collagen in our skin cells. However, droopy eyelids can also be a sign of rare neuromuscular diseases like myasthenia gravis, also called MG for short. MG is an autoimmune disease that results in weakened muscles throughout the entire body, the weaker muscles are the first to display these signs though, hence eyelids being an obvious starting point.
Wilsons disease is a hereditary disease that causes copper to accumulate to high levels throughout the body. Over time this copper causes damage to the liver and nervous system, and if not treated can be deadly. One place that copper tends to accumulate is in the inner surface of the cornea, and it appears as rings around it.
If you happen to notice any of these symptoms on your own, be sure to tell your physician. No matter what, dont ignore them. If youre eye doctor finds any of them during an exam, they will likely communicate with your doctor to determine what tests or treatments are necessary. Remember, your eyes are windows to more than your soul - theyre windows to your health.