If you experience any of the following changes in your vision, beware as they could be warning signs of more serious eye or health problems.
1. High cholesterol
If a grey or white ring appears around the cornea, take note. This arc or ring, called the arcus senilis, is caused by fat deposits and can signify high cholesterol or high triglycerides. For younger people in particular, the appearance of this ring may be reason to see a doctor.
If you experience sudden double vision, dim vision or loss of vision, seek medical attention immediately. These are all possible warning signs of a stroke.
If your eyes seem particularly irritated, or become red, itchy and watery every time you are around smoke, pollen or pet dander, they could be alerting you to potential allergies you might have.
4. DiabetesPeople with diabetes have an increased risk for eye problems. Diabetic retinopathy affects the circulatory system of the eye, which leads to blurred vision. Laser treatments and medications may be required when vision is affected, and surgery may be necessary in severe cases. Go for routine dilated eye examinations to monitor your condition so as to prevent serious vision problems.
If you feel a bulging sensation in your eyes, it could be related to your thyroid. The most common cause of protruding eyes is an overactive thyroid gland, also known as hyperthyroidism.
6. CataractIf you notice that colours appear as vibrant as they used to — and appear faded and dull instead — it could be a sign of cataracts. Make an appointment with your ophthalmologist to have your cataracts removed when vision loss interferes with daily activities such as driving, reading or watching TV.
7. High Blood Pressure
Although high blood pressure generally has no symptoms, it can be detected through changes in the retina's tiny blood vessels. Hypertension can cause these blood vessels to narrow or balloon, signalling problems with bigger vessels that supply blood to the heart, brain and kidneys. Identifying and managing high blood pressure can help prevent heart disease or stroke.
A stye is a small, painful lump that appears on the inside or outside of your eyelid. It can disappear as quickly as it appears. Styes are caused by bacterial infection and most of them go away within a few days. However, if the stye persists for more than three months, it could be an indication of something more sinister, such as sebaceous gland carcinoma, a rare cancer that manifests as a stye repeatedly appearing in the same location.
9. Autoimmune Disease
For many people, drooping eyelids are a sign of fatigue or ageing. If one or both eyelids droop on and off, you could be suffering from an autoimmune neuromuscular disease called myasthenia gravis. The condition results in an overall loss of strength in the skeletal muscles.
10. Liver Disease
Yellow eyes are one of the first signs of liver disease. Jaundice presents as yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes caused by increased amounts of bilirubin (a by-product of the natural breakdown of red blood cells) in the blood. This condition is common in newborns, as their livers are not fully developed. But when yellowing of the whites occurs in adults, it could spell a liver, gallbladder or bile duct problem. Visit a doctor for advice on improving your liver function.
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