11 Ways Your Eyes Reflect Your Health
What Do Healthy Eyes Look Like?
Your eyes play a significant role in first impressions. They are often the first stand-out feature, and offer a quick glimpse at what you may truly be like on the inside. The same goes for your health. Here are 11 ways your eyes might be telling you something is wrong.
- Puffy eyes – Grave’s disease, or overactive thyroid disease, is an immune system disorder that can cause anxiety, sweating, tremors, and puffy eyes, among many other symptoms. It may not be as “grave” as the name suggests, but it could require medication or minor surgery to remove the thyroid. This is just one of numerous diseases that aren’t necessarily directly related to the eyes, but can easily be detected that way.
- Cloudy cornea – Cataracts are almost always the culprit of cloudy corneas. Most of them develop over a long period of time and won’t be noticeable until later in life. However, if you notice foggy vision and get an eye exam you can often catch them early. The only treatment is a very safe surgical procedure where the natural lens of your eye is replaced with a new clear one.
- Ring Around the Cornea – Your eyes say a lot about you, especially your nutrition. A common symptom of high blood pressure or high cholesterol comes in the form of a faint, but noticeable, grey ring around the cornea of your eye. Eventually, it could cover the entire iris causing it’s color to appear washed out.
- A recurring/permanent stye – Normally, styes are perfectly healthy and nothing to worry about. They just appear as a small, often reddish, bump and eventually disappear. But a stye that sticks around or reoccurs frequently could be a rare form of cancer called sebaceous gland carcinoma. If you have a stye that just won’t go away, schedule an appointment with your doctor.
- Weak or droopy eyes – Droopy eyes could be a symptom of Myasthenia Gravis, an autoimmune disease that affects muscle control. It’s caused by a breakdown between nerves and muscles, and worsens over time. There is no cure, but treatment can relieve symptoms.
- Different Sized Pupils – Normally your pupils are the same size (or at least close) in healthy eyes, but it’s possible they could be different. Doctors call this condition anisocoria. Anisocoria can be physiologic, meaning it’s natural, or it could be the symptom of an underlying medical condition. These conditions include prior trauma, tonic pupil syndrome, an abnormality in the third cranial nerve, and Horner’s syndrome.
- Dislocated Lens – Marfan’s syndrome is primarily an inherited disease that affects all parts of your body, including the heart, blood, bones, and eyes. It’s commonly associated with dislocated lenses which can happen to anyone at any time, but they usually occur before the age of 20. If you have had a dislocated lens you should be tested for Marfan’s syndrome immediately.
- White spots on the Cornea – Hygiene is extremely important, especially when maintaining healthy eyes. If you wear glasses or contacts, make sure you are cleaning them regularly to avoid infection. You can spot a corneal infection by the distinct white spots on the surface. Light sensitivity or pain should be reported to your doctor immediately.
- Floaters – Those little specks that float around your field of vision are common, and just about everyone experiences them at some point. But a sudden increase could be potentially devastating for your eyes as this is sometimes the sign of retinal tearing or detachment.
- Discolor in the sclera – People who spend a lot of time out in the sun might notice yellowish-brown spots in the whites of their eyes. These are called pingueculas. While pingueculas are similar to callouses in nature, some of them are precancerous and should be looked into. Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from further damage. Artificial tears may be helpful too.
- Whites turning yellow – If the whites of your eyes begin to yellow like a smokers teeth then you could have a condition called Jaundice. Jaundice occurs when the liver can’t filter bilirubin so the yellow compound builds up causing the skin and eyes to turn yellow.