What if someone could tell if you had a neck tumor just by looking at you? Sherlock Holmes (or, for a more medical example, Dr. House) are famous for taking mere seconds of examination to understand their subjects more than the subjects know themselves. As fiction, we accept their nearly-impossible knowledge as a part of their “schtick”—but it wouldn’t take a genius to spot a medical condition with a simple eye exam.
It just so happens that your eyes contain a wealth of information about your health. If they know where to look, a doctor can spot a wide number of problems through an eye exam.
Here are just 4 medical disorders your doctor could spot in no time at all.
#1: Graves’ Disease Causes Your Eyes to Bulge Out
Graves’ disease results from the thyroid gland producing too much of the thyroid hormone (which regulates your metabolism, among other things). How can a doctor diagnose it by looking at you?
Because Graves’ disease is an autoimmune disorder, the immune system sometimes targets the area around the eyes, causing inflammation and eyelid retraction. This creates the overall appearance of bulging or “bug-out” eyes.
#2: Horner’s Syndrome Creates Differently-Dilated Pupils
Horner’s is a group of symptoms caused by a nerve blockage on one side of the face to the face or eye. It causes the eyelids to droop and the pupils to dilate differently on one side of the face than the other. Unfortunately, Horner’s syndrome is itself a fairly serious sign of an aneurysm or a neck tumor, so get yourself checked out immediately if you notice those symptoms.
#3: High Cholesterol Puts a Gray Ring Around Your Cornea
This condition is actually called “corneal arcus,” but the name changes depending on the age of the patient. Arcus senilis is the name for an older patient, whereas a patient younger than 40 would have arcus juvenilis. In either case, fat in the blood causes a gray or yellow ring to form around the cornea.
Strangely enough, the ring does not affect your vision. In fact, corneal arcus isn’t considered a serious condition for older patients. However, arcus juvenilis is associated with high blood lipid levels.
#4: Diabetes Puts Fat in Your Retina & Creates Cataracts
It’s pretty well-known that severe diabetes and blindness go hand-in-hand. However, ophthalmologists can see the signs of diabetes in your eyes well before you do. Because diabetes causes high levels of sugar in the blood to go unabsorbed, fat builds up in the retina.
During routine eye exams, doctors see fat and yellowish hemorrhages in the retina as a symptom of diabetes. The disease can also cause young patients to suffer cataracts decades before people normally develop them.
Now when you hear that your eyes are a window to your soul, you’ll know exactly how right that is. If you haven’t had your vision checked out in a while, call Dr. Barry Wasserman’s office at (877) 598-3937 today.