Today, 5/2/2018, Dr. Oz gave us reasons we need to have regular eye exams. The eyes are the windows to the soul and can give a pertinent health report to the doctor. When an ophthalmologist or optometrist looks into your eyes, they can identify eye health issues, like glaucoma and cataracts, but they might also be able to tell if your diet isn’t healthy, if you have an immune disorder, as well as if your diabetes is being managed properly. Read on to learn about the full scope of health issues your eyes may be trying to let you in on so you can prevent or treat any potential condition.
Health problems seen thru eye exams
- You may be taking too much aspirin. Did you know that macular degeneration has been associated with the overuse of aspirin? Research of 5000 participants in 2 decades showed aspirin can attribute to the degeneration.
- You may be eating too much salt. Too much sodium in your diet could impact the chances of you developing subcapsular cataracts, considered the most serious kinds, according to research. A large, population-based Australian study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology found there was a clear link between a high sodium intake in subjects’ diets and the development of posterior subcapsular cataracts.
- A link between oral contraceptives and glaucoma have been identified. A study found that women who used oral contraceptives for at least three years were twice as likely to be diagnosed with glaucoma when compared to those who used oral contraceptives for less than three years, or who didn’t take birth control pills at all. Glaucoma is the second-leading cause of blindness. You should contact your doctor immediately if you notice any change in vision when taking oral contraceptives.
- Your diet may be high in cholesterol. If you have bumps on your eyelids that are yellow, it could mean you have Xanthoma, a skin condition marked by a buildup 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 appear elsewhere on the body as well. See your doctor if a yellow lump appears on your eyelid.
- You may have an immune disorder. Your immune system first targets the glands that make tears and saliva, which is why you have dry eyes.
- Migraines. Have you been having blurred vision, flashes of light, blind spots, shimmering lights, or had trouble looking at your computer screen and wondered what was going on? If it was followed by a migraine, you probably just experienced an “aura” and an ocular migraine.
- Thyroid issues. Protruding or bulging eyes could be a sign of a serious health condition, like the immune disorder Graves’ disease when your thyroid gland produces too much of the thyroid hormone.
- Jaundice. If the entire whites of your eyes turn yellow, there’s a good chance you have jaundice, due to conditions that cause liver damage or dysfunction. The yellow is due to an increased amount of bilirubin in the bloodstream.
- Infections and allergies. If your eyes also feel gritty, have mucus-like discharge, feel sore, and are sensitive to light, you may have an infection. Red, itchy, watery eyes are frequently associated with allergies.
- Diabetes symptoms may be out of control. People with diabetes have a higher risk of blindness than those without diabetes. They’re also 40 percent more likely to suffer from glaucoma, 60 percent more likely to develop cataracts, and possibly experience retinopathy.
When scheduling your annual check-ups, be sure and include your eye exams.
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