Both Common And Not-So Common Eye Issues That Could Signal A Deeper Health Problem

Health & Medical Articles

From those annoying floaters that often accompany bright sunny days to finding out you need corrective lenses, when it comes to your eyes, there are a number of minor inconveniences that are common and easily remedied. However, did you know that an eye issue you've been dealing with for months or years could be a sign of a more potentially devastating illness? Here are two instances when an issue with your eyes could mean there is something more serious going on:

A Gray Ring Around Your Cornea

It is not uncommon for your eyes to change color over time, or even with your mood. However, if you've noticed a gray ring developing around your cornea – the outermost, translucent covering of your eye – this could be a sign of a larger problem.

According to the Mayo Clinic, the gray ring is a common symptom of arcus senilis, a condition that thankfully, doesn't require any type of medication or surgery. However, if you are diagnosed with arcus senilis, you may be suffering from a more potentially dangerous issue: high cholesterol.

It's actually the presence of increased lipids in your blood that is creating the noticeable ring around the edge of your cornea.

Contact a physician immediately at the first sign of this disorder and have your blood tested for high levels of cholesterol and triglycerides – especially if you're over the age of 60. Remember, having high cholesterol can put you at an increased risk of suffering a stroke or heart attack.

In some cases, the ring around your cornea might also be blue, white or even opaque. Whatever the case, don't hesitate to contact your doctor immediately.

Anxiety and Your Eyes

If you are suffering from anxiety and stress, chances are you're aware of the devastating impact both can have on your health – including trouble sleeping, nausea and headaches. However, what you may not know is the effect that anxiety is having on your eyes and eyesight.

Some of the many negative effects that stress and anxiety can have on your eyes include:

  • Blurry vision

  • Dry eye

  • Eye strain and twitching

  • Sensitivity to light

  • Flashes of light that come out of nowhere

Dealing with the sources of stress and anxiety in your life is the best way to prevent these symptoms. In addition, the Calm Clinic has a few recommendations that can also help you deal with these issues immediately:

  • Keep the lights dim whenever possible. According to the Calm Clinic, bright light can be too stimulating, which can actually make your anxiety and stress even worse.

  • If you're feeling anxious or nervous, and are concerned that your eye symptoms are inevitable, don't hesitate to sit or lie down and relax. If you're behind the wheel, pull over immediately and take a few deep breaths. Even closing your eyes and focusing on a positive memory or image can help prevent these annoying symptoms.

Treating the individual symptoms is another option, as well. For example, if you're experiencing dry eyes due to anxiety, make sure to drink plenty of water and keep some hydrating drops on hand.

However, if you are suffering more serious symptoms – such as blurry vision or severe eye strain – don't hesitate to contact your doctor or optometrist immediately. It might not require an eye stent, but they will be able to provide other ways to treat the symptoms.

From that noticeable gray ring to more seemingly common symptoms, such as dry eye or an annoying twitch, there are several eye issues that could be the sign there is something more serious going on in your body. The best way to determine if these symptoms are cause for worry is to schedule a visit with your eye doctor!


21 April 2015

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