You could imagine a visit to the eye doctor improving your vision but you probably never pictured it could save your life. Well, it can! Your eyes hold amazing cues to your overall health which your eye doctor can easily see and interpret. These cues can be a tell-tale of hypertension, high cholesterol, melanoma or high blood sugar.
Your eye doctor could detect a serious health problem such as high cholesterol if he notices yellowish plaques within the retinal blood vessels or he could suspect high blood pressure if your eyes arteries are showing a silver or copper coloring. If not caught early, blood vessels in the retina and throughout the body may harden, increasing your risk for heart attack or stroke.
Leaky blood vessels might be a sign of diabetes. High blood sugar can clog and damage retinal blood vessels making them weak and porous. An outflow or a new blood vessels shooting out to replace damaged one can be detected by an eye doctor, thus helping prevent the problem from worsening which could lead to blindness.
Inflammation might be a sign of an autoimmune disease. Autoimmune conditions can cause the body to attack healthy cells and tissues (including those in your eyes), leading to inflammation. When your eyes’ blood vessels are persistently irritated, itchy and watery, or if you suffer from severe dry eyes, it is likely you have an undiagnosed autoimmune disease, like lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.
Eye blisters could be a sign of retinopathy. Retinopathy is typically caused by stress which can in turn manifest as blisters in your eyeballs. Swollen blood vessels on the whites of the eye might mean you have pollen, dust, and animal dander allergies.
A mole on your eye’s inner layer might be a sign of cancer. Exposure to UV rays can lead to melanoma which is why it is crucial to wear polarized, 100% UV protection, wraparound sunglasses every single day. If you wear eyeglasses, wear fits over sunglasses, like Solar Shields, to protect you from light reaching your eyes from all angles.
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For a proper diagnosis, though, see an M.D.