The Eye is a Window into Overall Health

Ophthalmologist inspects corneal arcus imageThe eye is one of the smallest organs of the body, but its function is irreplaceable. We depend on our vision for almost every task we undertake, so when our eyesight is compromised, we feel debilitated.

Let’s see how adept you are at identifying eye diseases or conditions that affect your vision:

Sudden, Blurred Vision

Vision loss that occurs suddenly can indicate lack of blood flow to the eye or the brain. Seek medical attention right away. It could be as simple as a migraine, or as serious as the beginning of a stroke.

Eye Spasms

Eye twitches are rarely serious, and they gradually go away. Common causes of eye twitches are stress, fatigue, caffeine, alcohol or lack of sleep. Rarely, eye twitches are associated with nerve disorders like multiple sclerosis, but other warning signs would likely appear like blurred vision, difficulty walking and numbness in extremities.

Ring Around the Cornea

Corneal arcus appears as a white ring around the cornea. If you are 50 or older, corneal arcus is normal. However, if you are younger than 50, it may be a warning sign of extremely high cholesterol.

Bulging Eyes

Graves’ disease is often related to hyperthyroidism, which causes the thyroid gland to be overactive. Common symptoms of Graves’ disease are diarrhea, weight loss, hand tremors, hair loss, moodiness, racing heart, double vision and blurred vision. An overactive thyroid can sometimes cause the eyes to protrude and can cause double vision.

Drooping Eyelids

Drooping eyelids can be a natural part of aging, as the tissue around the eyes loses elasticity. In some cases, a drooping lid can indicate an autoimmune condition called myasthenia gravis, in which the immune system targets the muscles. This can affect everyday functions like chewing, swallowing and speaking and can also cause double vision.

Make an Appointment for an Eye Exam

If you have any concerns about your vision, call your ophthalmologist. Make yearly appointments for a comprehensive eye exam for a full evaluation of your vision health. An eye exam can identify degenerative eye diseases like glaucoma, cataracts and macular degeneration. It can also help detect chronic conditions like diabetes and hypertension because these diseases target the eyes.

Click here to find an ophthalmologist in your area to partner with you in lifelong vision health.

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