They say ‘the eyes are the windows to the soul’, however, research suggests that our eyes could be the window to our overall health.
Our eyes can act as signals for different health conditions so it’s important to pay close attention to our eye health, to spot any potential problems early on.
Eye Health Week began on Monday 18th so this is the perfect time to think about just what your eyes are trying to tell you. Here are 5 things to look out for.
Redness is a common eye problem, however, it shouldn’t be ignored. The redness is usually caused by inflamed vessels on the eye’s surface and can be triggered by a number of different conditions.
Red, itchy eyes could be a sign of seasonal allergies such as hayfever. Alternatively, there are several infections that can cause eye redness such as conjunctivitis and uveitis.
Whilst eye redness may not usually require immediate medical attention, it’s important to get a second opinion from a doctor if you’re unsure of the cause or if it is more than just a passing problem.
2. Bulging Eyes
Bulging eyes or ‘exophthalmos’ as it’s known medically, is sometimes caused by thyroid eye disease. With this condition, the immune system attacks the fatty acids and muscles around the eye, causing the eye to swell and protrude.
Some people are born with prominent or protruding eyes, so it is not always a cause for concern. However, should you notice a significant change in your eye shape, it’s a good idea to have an eye doctor or GP carry out an examination, to evaluate if there are any serious problems developing.
3. Sores Around The Eyelids
Red bumps or sores on the eyelids are not usually a red flag for serious conditions, however different bumps can have different underlying causes.
A stye is a round, red bump that appears near the eyelashes, usually caused by bacteria getting into the oil glands in the eyelids. Styes are usually harmless, disappear with time and can be treated at home unless they’re large and intrusive.
Sometimes, eye sores or red bumps could be a sign of more serious conditions such as skin cancer. If you feel concerned, a doctor can assess your situation and see whether it needs to be removed.
4. Yellow Patches On Upper Or Lower Eyelids
Xanthelasma is the name for the yellow bumps that sometimes appear on the eyelids. Whilst usually harmless, they can be an indicator of high levels of cholesterol.
Having high cholesterol can increase the risk of serious heart diseases such as heart attacks and strokes, so it’s best to see your GP to determine the underlying cause of the xanthelasma.
5. Eyelid Twitching
Eye twitches are usually characterised by repetitive, involuntary spasms of the eyelid. Most of the time these twitches are painless and harmless, but it’s always important to assess what could be causing them.
Fatigue, stress and too much caffeine are all common causes of eyelid twitching. So if you find your eyelid twitching more than usual, it may be time to assess your lifestyle habits.
Maintaining Eye Health
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