The eyes are the window to the soul… as well as your health! In some cases your eyes can display maladies that are seriously affecting other areas of your body. Here are some symptoms you should be looking out for! (Note: if you can relate to any of these symptoms and feel that you may be suffering from any of the illness defined, please contact your local health care provider.)
Fluctuating Eye Prescription
If you find that your eye prescription seems to be changing frequently, this may be a symptom of diabetes. The leading cause of blindness in Canada, diabetes changes the retina in the back of the eye over time. This is on account of excess glucose seeping into the lens and changing the shape of the retina thereby making it difficult to focus. Your ophthalmologist can also detect retinal diabetes by yellowish spots sometimes.
Change in Eye Color
If your iris is different colors in each eye you may be suffering from heterochromia iridis. Though this condition does not pose any major risk, it does increase the likelihood of one developing glaucoma and other inflammation. Other than that, this particular diagnosis is relatively harmless.
If you find that your eyes appear to be bulging or protruding from your head, this may be a symptom of a thyroid issue. Your thyroid gland produces the hormone that controls how your cells metabolize. Graves disease is an autoimmune disease that can lead to thyroid swelling and in turn, produce the appearance of bulging eyes.
The medical term of droopy eyelids is ptosis. Ptosis is not a disease, but rather a symptom of another problem within the body. Two of the major illnesses associated with droopy eyelids are diabetes and myasthenia gravis. Myasthenia gravis is an unfortunate autoimmune disease that inhibits your muscles and nerves ability to effectively communicate.
Inability to Focus
A symptom of various mental illnesses can actually affect your eyesight. Those who suffer from schizophrenia or bipolar disorder often have issues focusing their eyes and eye tracking. In some cases doctors are able to diagnose disorders by looking at the patients eyes.
Unusually yellow eyes can be a symptom of hepatitis or cirrhosis. When the bile ducts, which carry bile to the small intestine, are blocked this can cause an excess of bilirubin in the body. A surplus amount of bilirubin in the body can cause affect the color of your eye thereby producing a yellowish color.
A grey ring around the cornea goes hand in hand with cholesterol levels and triglycerides. Often times this is a negative correlation. If you have a grey circle around your cornea it may mean that your have a very high level of cholesterol and are at high risk of a heart attack or stroke.
Healthy eyes have pupils that mirror one another in size. If your pupils are different sizes, there may be a number of causes. Some of the scarier options mean that the patient may be suffering from bleeding inside the skull, excess pressure in one eye from glaucoma, meningitis or even an aneurysm! However, sometimes irregular pupils can be a genetic trait and do not denote a serious medical condition.
When you see blood clouding the eye this likely means that blood vessels have burst under the translucent layer protecting the eye. Though this can be a side effect of the eye being hit or aggressive vomiting, it may be a symptom of extremely high blood pressure. Sometimes exerting a great amount that causes pressure in the head and the veins in the head, such as weightlifting, can also cause veins within the eye to rupture.
Sudden Flashes of Light
If you see sudden flashes of light this may be a symptom of retinal detachment. Other symptoms include, small floating in the bits in the eye or shadowed portion of your eye. Retinal detachment is an emergency situation and you should always seek immediate attention.