Most people rarely think about the health of their eyes until they experience symptoms they cannot ignore or a doctor notices something during a regular doctor’s visit. However, what the majority of people do not know is that their eyes can reflect their health.
Here are some signs and symptoms you may notice in your eyes that might indicate certain health problems.
- Tumour in the eye can indicate breast cancer: In some cases, breast cancer can spread to the eye causing a tumour to appear. Vision problems in some cases can, therefore, indicate the presence of breast cancer. These vision problems are caused by the tumour which can also push the eye forward.
- Twitching of the eye: Eye twitches usually occur when a person is stressed, tired or has an eye irritation. However, at times they may be a sign of a nerve or brain condition such as Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis.
- Drooping eyelids: Drooping refers to the falling of the upper eyelid which usually happens when a person stays awake longer than usual, even when their muscles are tired. In some cases, it can indicate Myasthenia Gravis; an autoimmune disorder that attacks and weakens the muscles in the body. Drooping eyelid is usually the first symptom for approximately 50% of people who develop this autoimmune disorder.
- Yellowing of the eyes: This is usually a sign of jaundice which occurs when the liver produces too much bilirubin as a response to damage or inflammation. Damage to the liver can be due to alcohol abuse, genetic diseases or an autoimmune disorder.
- Poor vision: This could be a sign of diabetes as diabetes can cause small blood vessels, at the back of the eye, to leak blood and other fluids.
- Presence of a grey or white ring around the cornea: Although this Arcus senilis is a common condition in older people, for those below 40, it can be an indicator of high cholesterol. It can also be a symptom of hyperlipidaemia which is an inherited genetic disorder that causes high cholesterol and high triglycerides.
- Temporary loss of vision or double vision: This sudden, temporary loss of vision can be due to a transient ischaemic attack (mini stroke) which refers to a brief lack of oxygen in one part of the brain.
- Night blindness: Lack of vitamin A can lead to difficulty with being able to see at night or under low light (nyctalopia). This condition can also be caused by other eye conditions like cataracts and near sightedness.
There are several other symptoms, some which can only be diagnosed by your doctor during an eye examination, that can indicate an underlying health condition. It is, therefore, crucial to ensure that you have regular eye check-ups to get an early diagnosis if you happen to have a particular health condition.
For good eye health, ensure you eat eye-friendly foods like:
- Dark green leafy vegetables such as kale, broccoli and spinach,
- Omega 3 fats found in oily fish and walnuts,
- Colourful vegetables and fruits such as carrots, pumpkin, mango and kiwifruit,
- Foods rich in zinc such as nuts, oysters and legumes.
These foods will not only contribute to good eye health but also to your general well-being. Eating right is a significant part of being healthy. However, you also have to ensure that you see your doctor regularly so that if there is any change in your body that could affect your health, it is caught in time and treated accordingly.
International Medical Treatment Ltd.’s (IMT) partner hospitals offer comprehensive health check-up packages inclusive of eye check-ups. Contact us today, to book a health check-up appointment at one of our partner hospitals.