Did you know that glaucoma and cataracts aren't the only problems that can be seen by looking into someone's eye? The eye can also tell you about things like cholesterol levels, liver disease, or diabetes…if you know what to look for. Here are just a few things to look for.
- Bumpy, yellowish patches on the eyelid and white rings around the eyes may be a sign of high cholesterol. Not to be mistaken for a stye, the yellow bumps tend to be small and they appear in groups rather than alone. While they do not cause pain or vision problems and are not typically serious in nature, a physician can also evaluate you for other signs of coronary artery disease.
- When the whites of the eye look slightly yellow (also known as jaundice), it could be caused by problems of the liver, gallbladder or bile ducts. The yellow is from a buildup of bilirubin, which is a by-product of old red blood cells that the liver is unable to process. Mention the symptom to your physician so that the jaundice can be evaluated and the cause behind it treated.
- A bump or brown spot on the eyelid can be an indication of skin cancer. Elderly, fair-skinned people are at the highest risk. Look at both the upper and the lower lids- the bump may look pearly and have tiny blood vessels and lashes may be missing if in the eyelash area. Always have suspicious skin spots checked by a dermatologist, physician or eye doctor.
- Red spots, caused by dots of blood in the eye can be a sign of diabetes. If blood sugar gets too high, vessels can begin to get blocked and will swell as a result. When this happens, the tiny blood vessels in the retina can burst, resulting in the red spots.
- Dry eyes can be a side effect of many medications, but autoimmune diseases can cause them as well. Sjrogen's syndrome destroys moisture-producing glands and mostly affects older women.
A trip to the eye doctor can save more than your vision. Click here for some additional articles to learn what eye-related symptoms can tell us about our health.