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Ask the Experts: Healthy Vision Month

by Dr. David Tremblay

Can your eyes indicate health problems?

The saying goes, “The eyes are the windows to the soul”. Fortunately, as windows, the eyes often shed clues about what may be going on with the rest of the body. Additionally, they can uncover problems that may have otherwise gone unnoticed.

Floppy eyelids or loose skin around the eyes are highly associated with sleep apnea which can cause long-term health problems. Eyelids that tend to close over time can indicate a systemic neuromuscular disease such as Myasthenia Gravis. Thyroid disorders are associated with retraction or shortening of the lids. Various deposits in the cornea such as calcium, iron, cholesterol or copper can signal that a serious underlying metabolic condition exists. Some types of cataracts are associated with various syndromes, some of which can be life-threatening. Problems in the retina like hemorrhages and edema can point to diabetes, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. Even systemic cancer like lymphoma or metastatic breast cancer can first show up in the eye.

These are some of the more common associations, but even rare conditions can be diagnosed through a routine eye exam. This is why it’s extremely important to see an eye doctor for an annual comprehensive eye exam.  This is the best way to ensure an underlying condition isn’t going undiagnosed. At Mann Eye Institute, we’d be honored to help you See Life Better.

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