When an ophthalmologist or optometrist looks you in the eye, they can identify eye health problems, such as glaucoma and cataracts, but they could also determine if your diet is not healthy or if you have an immune disorder.
Read on to find out the full scope of the health problems your eyes may be trying to let you see so you can prevent or treat any potential conditions.
Ever experienced a bit of blurry vision, flashes of light, blind spots, bright lights, or had trouble looking at your computer screen and wondered what was going on? If you were followed by a migraine, you probably only experienced an "aura" and an ocular migraine. That distortion of vision is an early warning signal that it is coming; Next time, pay attention to the warning and take a break from the screens while taking the right pain medication. A retinal migraine is more severe and involves diminished or short-term vision or blindness in one eye, according to the research. This may precede or accompany a headache. Consult a doctor immediately if you experience loss of vision in one eye.
You may be eating too much salt It is time to get rid of the salt shaker and switch to low sodium packaged foods if you have not done so yet. Too much sodium in your diet could affect the chances of developing subcapsular cataracts, considered the most serious, according to the research. A large Australian population-based study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that there was a clear link between high sodium intake in subjects' diets and the development of subsequent subcapsular cataracts.
You may be taking too much aspirin If you have been a long-term user of aspirin, you may be contributing to age-related macular degeneration (AMD) according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The researchers tracked the use of aspirin and the visual health of nearly 5,000 adults for more than two decades and found that regular use of aspirin for 10 years was associated with a small but statistically significant increase in the risk of incident AMD.
Your diet may be too high in cholesterol Although many eyelid lumps are harmless, as if you had a sty of sebaceous glands clogged near the eyelashes, some lumps may indicate that you have a more serious health problem. If the bumps on the eyelids are yellow, it could mean that you have Xanthoma, a condition of the skin marked by an accumulation of fat under the surface of the skin. This condition tends to be more common in older people with high blood cholesterol levels and these yellow bumps can also appear in other parts of the body. Consult your doctor if a yellow lump appears on your eyelid.
You may be at risk of developing glaucoma Women who use oral contraceptives may be at higher risk of developing glaucoma. The study found that women who used oral contraceptives for at least three years were twice as likely to be diagnosed with glaucoma compared to those who used oral contraceptives for less than three years, or who did not take birth control pills at all. Since glaucoma is the second cause of blindness, this study may be cause for concern, but keep in mind that it was data collected from a self-reported survey and not from a controlled trial. Health experts say more research is needed, but they suggest that women who take contraceptives have their eyes examined annually, discuss medications they take with their ophthalmologist, and report any changes in their doctors' sight immediately.
Do you experience dry eyes that feel gritty or sensitive to light? This is a symptom of Sjogren's Syndrome (SHOW-grins), an immune disorder that made headlines when tennis star Venus Williams was diagnosed. With an autoimmune disorder, your body mistakenly attacks your own cells and tissues. In Sjogren's syndrome, your immune system goes first to the glands that produce tears and saliva, so you have dry eyes. Make an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible to discuss your symptoms.
INFECTION OR ALLERGY
Red, itchy and watery eyes are often associated with allergies and cause discomfort to many people during the hay fever seasons. Using eye drops without a prescription or controlling your allergies with medications will help the situation. If your eyes also feel gritty, have a discharge similar to mucus, feel pain and are sensitive to light, you may have an infection and you should consult your doctor to get the best treatment options.