Did you know that your eyes say a lot about your health?
They said it well! “The eyes aren’t just the window to your soul – they also offer insight into your overall health.” Your eyes are actually the first indicator of whether you have diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, immunological diseases, and even cancer. Therefore, one should not ignore his routine eye exam with an ophthalmologist, as it is much more than just a vision check. With regular eye exams, early detection and treatment of a number of serious health conditions is possible.
Here are eight diseases that can be diagnosed in its initial stage through screening or routine eye exams:
If you have sudden or insidious onset blurred vision, this could be an early sign of diabetes – both type 1 and type 2. If the condition is left untreated in its early stages, it could lead to diabetes. onset or worsening of diabetic retinopathy. This condition affects the capillaries of the retina and is one of the leading causes of permanent blindness worldwide. It is important that his sugars and other parameters are checked after this diagnosis.
This can cause changes in the retina of the eye and lead to decreased vision in severe cases. Vision loss can be gradual or sudden due to bleeding in the eye. It is important to control blood pressure to prevent complications in organs such as the eyes and kidneys. If you’re under 40, it’s essential to have your blood pressure checked annually to help with early detection.
If your eyes often become very dry (with or without dry mouth), this is a first sign that you have an autoimmune disease such as rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogren’s syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease or ocular cicatricial pemphigoid. When you have autoimmune diseases that can cause joint pain, back pain, urination problems, or bowel problems, it affects the glands that produce tears, causing dry eyes due to water deficiency. It is treated primarily by treating the underlying systemic problem and supplementing the tears with drops and gels.
If you have transient loss of vision or complete loss of vision in one eye, this may be an indicator of ischemic changes in the brain or blockage of an artery in the eye (occlusion of central retinal artery). In this scenario, it is important to assess systemic parameters such as lipids, sugars, blood pressure, and cardiac assessment. A neurologist and cardiologist are consulted to determine the site and cause to help with proper treatment and prevent future events.
If you suffer from black/blind spots, sudden and temporary loss of vision, or eye pain, these may be indicators of a systemic condition called multiple sclerosis. This is treated by a neurologist and requires blood tests and an MRI of the brain and spine to determine the type and decide on treatment.
Body cancers can sometimes be detected by eye symptoms such as reduced vision, floaters and swelling of the eyeball. Metastatic tumors can spread from other affected organs in the body to the orbit (behind the eyeball) causing a bulge. They can also spread inside the eye, causing retinal detachments and decreased vision. Tumors can also first arise in the eye, such as melanomas, which can be on the surface or inside the eyeball. Once these are detected, patients are referred to oncologists to rule out spread in the body. Thus, cancers can spread from other areas to the eye or from the eye to other areas. A screening is therefore of utmost importance if one suffers from any of the above symptoms.
If your sclera (the white of the eye) turns yellowish (jaundice), this indicates that you have underlying liver problems. This condition is caused by high levels of bilirubin, something our liver makes more of if it’s inflamed or damaged.
Lack of sleep
Lack of sleep can lead to eyelid twitching. This is also induced by excessive caffeine consumption or by stress. This is a temporary phenomenon that can be treated by correcting the sleep cycle and reducing the consumption of tea and coffee. Patients are often advised to take breathing exercises and yoga to help them improve. If this condition persists for a long time, they are sometimes advised to have botulinum toxin injections.
The opinions expressed above are those of the author.
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