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Seeing Health Issues in the Eyes

What your eyes could be hiding about your health.


They're said to be the window to our soul, but they're also the window to your health.

A close look at our eyes could be all doctors need to get a glimpse at some serious problems.

Dr. Allen Ho says, "There's a lot of different things that the eyes can do that reflect general health."

Follow along as we take a look at what your eyes are trying to tell you. 

If they've taken on a yellowish hue, you could be suffering from liver disease, like hepatitis or cirrhosis.

Yellowish deposits on your lids could mean high cholesterol.  A thin gray ring around the cornea can also mean high cholesterol, putting you at a higher risk for heart attack and stroke.

Ho: "The eyes are really an extension of the brain."

Even eyes that are too white can be a problem.

Dr. Julia Haller says, "Because the hemoglobin levels are too low. Because you've got low iron and you're anemic."

Bulding eyes can run in the family, but they're also a sign of thyroid problem known as Grave's Disease.  Three-million Americans have it.

Haller: "Barbara Bush for example had problems with her eyes, thyroid disease."

Have your eyelids suddenly started drooping?  See your doctor right away!  It could be an autoimmune disorder or even a brain tumor.

Haller: "We actually even diagnose diseases like AIDS sometimes. We're the ones that pick up that the patient has changes in the eye."

Ho: "So getting a regular eye exam is really important even if you're seeing well."

Even if you're not having vision problems the American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends eye exams every two to four years for those over forty.

People over 65 should get screened every year or two, but get checked out right away if you have problems with loss of vision, pain or redness.

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