14 Things Your Eyes Can Tell You about Your Health (If you know what to look for)
Eyes are window to your health. Here are several things your eyes can reveal about your body.
If the outer third of your eyebrow begins disappearing for no apparent reason, it might be a sign of thyroid disease.
A Sty That Stays for Too Long
If your sty doesn’t disappear in a 3-month period, or keeps re-appearing in the same spot, it could indicate the rare sebaceous gland carcinoma.
Blurry Vision and Burning Eyes While Using a Computer
These eye conditions are caused by CVS, or computer vision syndrome. Partial causes of the eyestrain are computer screen that lacks contrast, and the extra work when focusing on pixels.
A Small Blind Spot in Your Vision, With Wavy Lines or Bright Lights
This disturbed vision is caused by a migraine aura. Sometimes it is followed by a headache.
Yellow Whites of Eyes
This is a sign of jaundice. It occurs in newborns with immature function of the liver, or adults who have problems with the liver, bile ducts, or gallbladder.
If your eyes seem to bulge, your thyroid gland is probably overactive, or in other words you have hyperthyroidism.
Sudden Dim Vision, Double Vision, or Loss of Vision
These eye problems are warning symptoms of stroke.
Blurred Vision in Diabetics
People with diabetes have higher risk of several eye conditions. The most common problem is diabetic retinopathy, the leading cause of blindness in adults in U.S. It’s a condition that affects the eye circulatory system.
Eyesight is one of the most important senses, and people usually take it for granted until it begins to fail. Diabetes is one of the leading causes of blindness in adults in America. This is a rather disturbing fact since nowadays, 1 in 4 people in U.S. have either prediabetes or diabetes. Moreover, the increased use of video display terminals and computers at home and work has also contributed to the raise of vision issues due to eye strain.
Is Poor Vision Inevitable as We Age?
The answer is no! However, if we are not careful enough, our modern way of life can lead to poor vision. Luckily, there are many things we can do to support the health of our eyes. According to studies, people over 60 years of age might require even more support in the form of proper nutritional supplements. Moreover, a person might need additional vision support if s/he is diabetic, obese, active smoker, or spends too much time in front of the computer.
We will tell you several strategies to protect your eyesight, including nutritional support, but first, let’s take a look if your eyes can really tell something about your overall health.
Iridology is an alternative medicine technique according to which the iris of your eye can tell your potential health problems. Although this theory dates to the mid-17th century, it’s still not recognized by the mainstream medicine.
According to this theory, colors, patterns, and other characteristics in specific zones of the iris can tell information about one’s overall health. Iridologists carefully examine the iris and compare it with iris charts that point to specific organs or systems in your body, which can tell if they are under- or overactive, or inflamed. However, it can’t diagnose specific diseases, but gives information about the systemic weaknesses and strengths. Nevertheless, these indications can sometime be very useful.
Since iridology practitioners aren’t legally required to be certified or licensed in America or Canada, you should locate one that’s also a licensed medical practitioner, of course if you are interested in iridology.
Natural Strategies to Help Protect Your Vision
Before we tell you the nutritional factors that can help your vision, we will list several lifestyle strategies that will protect your eyesight as you age.
- Quit Smoking – Your body produces more free radicals if you smoke, which increases your risk of many health conditions, including impaired vision.
- Normalize Your Blood Sugar – If you have excessive blood sugar, it can pull fluid from your eye lens, thus reducing your focusing abilities. It also damages the retinal blood vessels and hinders the blood flow.
- Take Care of Your Cardiovascular System – Hypertension obstructs the free blood flow to the retina, damaging the tiny retinal blood vessels. Avoiding fructose is one of the best ways to maintain optimal blood pressure. The professor of medicine and the chief of the division of renal disease and hypertension at the University of Colorado, Dr. Richard Johnson, has conducted a research according to which 74 grams or more fructose on a daily basis, or two and a half sugary drinks, raises the risk of blood pressure levels of 160/100 mmHg by 77 %.
- Consume Kale and other Dark Green Leafy Vegetables. According to many studies, dark green leafy veggies support the health of eyes. People who consume vegetables rich in carotenoids, especially zeaxanthin and lutein, have improved vision health.
- Plenty of Healthy Omega-3 Fat. August 2001 issue of Archives of Ophthalmology discovered that omega-3 fatty acids have protective effects on our vision. However, because of the widespread fish farming and pollution, fish can’t be considered as the perfect source for omega-3 fats, unless its purity can be verified. The best alternative is krill oil, which includes astaxanthin in its content. This powerful antioxidant provides many health benefits for our eyes.
- Avoid Trans Fats. Increased intake of trans fats interferes with omega-3 fats in the body, thus contributing to macular degeneration. In order to protect your vision, avoid the following processed foods and baked good since they include trans fats in their content: fried foods like French fries, margarine, fried chicken and doughnuts, pastries, cookies, shortening, and crackers.
- Avoid aspartame. Aspartame poisoning can cause vision problems.
Your Greatest Allies for Healthy Eyes are Antioxidants
Antioxidants’ function is to neutralize harmful free radicals in the body, including eyes. Here are several antioxidants that have been proven to provide health benefits to our eyes.
- Black currant anthocyanins
We will discuss astaxanthin and lutein as they are powerful allies in prevention of vision problems.
Lutein Aids in the Protection of Your Central Vision
Macula lutea contain high concentrations of zeaxanthin and lutein.
It is believed that they have 2 important roles, and they are absorption of excess photon energy, and quenching free-radicals in the body before damaging the lipid membranes.
The miniature central part of the retina, called macula, is responsible for detailed and straight-ahead vision.
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It contains the highest amount of lutein in our eyes.
In other words, lutein helps in the protection of out central vision.
This naturally occurring carotenoid can be found in orange and yellow fruits and veggies, as well as in green leafy veggies.
Foods and Their Lutein Content
Astaxanthin Protects Against 2 Leading Forms of Blindness
Lutein and zeaxanthin are very beneficial for our eyes, but science now reveals that the best carotenoid for the health of our eyes, and prevention of blindness is astaxanthin.
Astaxanthin is much more potent antioxidant that both zeaxanthin and lutein, and it has been discovered that provides protection from the following vision problems:
- Age-related macular degeneration (ARMD)
- Diabetic retinopathy
- Retinal arterial occlusion
- Cystoid macular edema
- Venous occlusion
- Inflammatory eye diseases (scleritis, retinitis, keratitis, and iritis)
This antioxidant maintains proper eye pressure levels, and supports the visual acuity and energy levels of our eyes. Three of the leading causes of blindness in America are included in the list, and they are diabetic retinopathy, cataracts, and macular degeneration. This makes astaxanthin even more important.
An excellent source of astaxanthin and omega-3 fat is the krill oil, although there are many other astaxanthin supplements on the market ehose specific purpose is supporting the health of eyes.
If you decide to try astaxanthin, our advice is to begin with 2-4 mg a day. Those on a krill oil supplement should know that the concentration of astaxanthin is different in various krill products. Therefore, check the label.
The increased number of environmental contaminants and the reduction of the ozone layer expose our eyes to higher oxidation levels and more free radicals than in the past. What’s more, as we age, our body can’t produce the required antioxidant levels needed to counter the assault on our organs and tissues by various contaminants in food and water, pollution, pharmaceutical drugs, household chemicals, and high levels of stress on a daily basis.
That’s why you should do everything in your power to protect your eyes and lower the risk of various eye diseases such as macular degeneration.