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Can Your Eyes Indicate Health Problems?

Your eyes say quite a lot about your health, and they can also tell you when it is time to see your doctor. Changes in the eyes can indicate that something unusual is happening in your body. Although many health issues may not be cause for alarm, others may necessitate urgent medical treatment to prevent severe and incurable health complications.


As such, it is vital to have routine eye exams with your eye doctor. Your eye doctor can detect and treat potential complications before they worsen. Here are health problems your eyes can reveal.




During an eye exam, your ophthalmologist can pick up signs of diabetes by checking the back of your eye. If the tiny blood vessels in your retina are leaking, you could be having diabetic retinopathy. 


Diabetic retinopathy is a condition that occurs when your blood sugar is very high, causing the capillaries in your retina to start leaking. When the retinal blood vessels leak fluid or blood, your vision could become blurred.


Heart Disease


Narrowing or swelling in your retina or inflammation at the lower part of your optic nerve indicates that you could be at risk of getting heart disease. Early detection and treatment can help lower your risk.


Liver Disease


Yellow eyes could mean that you have jaundice. Jaundice is a health problem that happens when your liver releases excess bilirubin in response to damage or swelling in the liver. Damage can be due to infection, genetic conditions, autoimmune diseases, or too much alcohol intake.


Brain and Nerve Damage


Typically, your eyes twitch if you are stressed, exhausted, or from eye irritation. While lots of eye twitches are not causes for concern, the twitches can sometimes indicate a nerve or brain condition—conditions such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, or Bell's Palsy. 


High Blood Pressure

The most common telltale sign of high blood pressure is the narrowing, swelling, leaking, or hardening of the blood vessels in your retina. If not addressed, the condition can cause heart attack, stroke, heart failure, blurry vision, and even vision loss.



If your ophthalmologist finds tiny blood clots or blood vessel injury because of high blood pressure, you could get a stroke. The good news is that your doctor can catch these symptoms early and prevent a stroke from happening.


High Cholesterol


A white, blue, or gray ring around your iris can signal a buildup of cholesterol and triglycerides in your body. High cholesterol can put you at a greater risk for stroke and heart disease.


Thyroid Disease

Thyroid disease is linked to an autoimmune condition called Grave’s disease. Grave’s disease can irritate your eyes, causing them to feel itchy and sore. In extreme cases, Grave's disease can make your eye muscles swell and make your eyes bulge.



Cancer usually starts showing signs in your eyes, regardless of where that cancer is in your body. Inflammation in the optic nerve, bleeding in the retina, and changes in your eye's shape and color can signal various cancers, including eye melanoma, leukemia, brain tumor, and skin cancer.


For more on how your eyes indicate health problems, contact Special Eye Care at our office in Camp Springs, Maryland. You can call (301) 298-3241 today to schedule an appointment.

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