What do your eyes say about your health? Signs you need to be aware of

Eye doctors have revealed the optical symptoms that signal various health issues in your body.

Simple changes in your eyes can indicate a range of serious health and lifestyle problems including diabetes, too much screen time and sun exposure.

Ophthalmologist and the director of Personaleyes, Dr Kerrie Meades, reveals the signs to be aware of and when it’s time to visit your doctor. 
Eye doctors have revealed the key optical symptoms that signal various health issues in your body

Eye doctors have revealed the key optical symptoms that signal various health issues in your body

Eye doctors have revealed the key optical symptoms that signal various health issues in your body 

Director and founder of Personaleyes Dr Kerrie Meades, FEMAIL reveals the signs in your eyes you need to be aware of

Director and founder of Personaleyes Dr Kerrie Meades, FEMAIL reveals the signs in your eyes you need to be aware of

Director and founder of Personaleyes Dr Kerrie Meades, FEMAIL reveals the signs in your eyes you need to be aware of

1. White rings around the cornea 

If you’re someone who has white rings around your corneal arcus (or iris), experts say it could be time to visit your GP or optometrist.

While such a ring can be a sign of ageing, it could also be an indication of high cholesterol – and can even predict a stroke.

‘Most often a white ring around the cornea is a sign of ageing but it can also signal high cholesterol,’ Dr Kerrie Meades told FEMAIL.

‘While it is often harmless, if you’re under the age of 45 it might be worth checking out with a health professional.’

2. Watery eyes

What are the eye habits we should all practice? 

1. Keep your general health good: The eyes are a reflection of your general health, so the more you move and eat well, the better your eye health will be.

2. Stay well-hydrated: If you’re someone who spends a lot of time working at a desk, it’s vital you drink as close to eight glasses of water per day as possible.

3. Wear sunglasses or a hat: Whenever you go out in the sun, wear sunglasses or a hat to ensure you’re protecting your eyes at all points.

4. Check out a change in vision: If you have a change in vision, it’s vital you check it out as soon as it happens. 

For those who struggle with watery eyes or eyes which frequently tear up, it might be a sign you’re spending too much time at a computer – and it’s time to take a break from the screens.

‘In this digital age, a lot of us are looking at computer screens for hours on end and not blinking nearly enough,’ Dr Meades said.

‘When you stare at a screen all the time, your blink rate goes down and the tears get absorbed, meaning your eyes might water.’

If you’re someone whose dry eyes often water, Dr Meades recommends you try and make sure you blink as much as possible when at work.

Screen breaks will also assist in making sure you’re blinking enough.

Ever seen those little specks that move around your field of vision? They are 'floaters' - and while they are relatively commonplace, they should never be ignored (stock image)

Ever seen those little specks that move around your field of vision? They are 'floaters' - and while they are relatively commonplace, they should never be ignored (stock image)

Ever seen those little specks that move around your field of vision? They are ‘floaters’ – and while they are relatively commonplace, they should never be ignored (stock image)

3. ‘Floaters’ in your vision

Ever seen those little specks that move around your field of vision from time to time?

They are ‘floaters’ – and while they are relatively commonplace, they should never be ignored.

‘Floaters are a normal part of getting older,’ Dr Meades said.

‘But if you’re getting more of them than normal, then it might be indicative of an infection within the eye.’

An increase in ‘floaters’ in your day-to-day life can indicate a number of things, she said – from a retinal tear to detachment. 

‘If you do see an increase, make sure you go and see a GP or eye specialist,’ Dr Meades said. 

'Yellowed whites of eyes indicate that something is drastically wrong with your liver,' Dr Meades said - this can be jaundice (stock image)

'Yellowed whites of eyes indicate that something is drastically wrong with your liver,' Dr Meades said - this can be jaundice (stock image)

‘Yellowed whites of eyes indicate that something is drastically wrong with your liver,’ Dr Meades said – this can be jaundice (stock image)

4. Yellow whites of eyes

Got yellowing whites in your eyes? This is a surefire sign that something is wrong in your body, and it’s time to consult an expert.

‘Yellowed whites of eyes indicate that something is drastically wrong with your liver,’ Dr Meades said.  

The most likely thing that’s wrong with you if you have yellowing whites of your eyes is that you have jaundice – a condition that occurs when there’s too much bilirubin – a yellow compound formed from the breakdown of red blood cells – in your blood.

While this is rare, Dr Kerrie Meades said if you notice your eyes are yellowing, you should act immediately.

'Try to identify what it is you're allergic to and keep this to a minimum or take an anti-histamine to avoid dry eyes,' Dr Meades said (stock image)

'Try to identify what it is you're allergic to and keep this to a minimum or take an anti-histamine to avoid dry eyes,' Dr Meades said (stock image)

‘Try to identify what it is you’re allergic to and keep this to a minimum or take an anti-histamine to avoid dry eyes,’ Dr Meades said (stock image)

5. Dry eyes

Dry eyes are a common problem for many of us – and according to the experts, the normal reason for this is some form of an allergy.

‘Try to identify what it is you’re allergic to and keep this to a minimum or take an anti-histamine to avoid dry eyes,’ Dr Meades said. 

Over-the-counter medication will also help with seasonal allergies, such as hay fever.  

6. Twitching eyes

We have all suffered with twitching eyes from time to time.

And there’s a simple enough explanation for them: you’re too stressed.

‘Twitching occurs when the nerve is firing and the muscle in the eye is contracting,’ Dr Meades said.

‘It’s largely connected to tiredness and stress, and can affect both the upper and lower lid.’

While the expert said this is usually ‘benign’, she also said might be a sign you need to take it easier and get a bit more rest. 

7. White spots on cornea

For those who wear contact lenses, it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for white spots on your cornea – or the clear layer over the front of your eyeball.

This can be the sign of a corneal infection.

‘It’s quite difficult to get an infection in the cornea without some sort of trauma,’ Dr Meades said. 

‘This is why it is much more common among those with contact lenses.’

Good eye health and looking after your contact lenses will keep this to a minimum.

Dr Meades also said the introduction of daily contact lenses has meant this has become far less common. 

8. Blurred vision

Blurred vision should never be ignored – and it can signal all kinds of things including both eye problems and diabetes.

‘The eye is a little camera into your general health,’ Dr Meades said. 

‘And so, if you get an interruption in your cornea, lens etc, then this could result in blurred vision.’ 

Consult your ophthalmologist so that they can do a thorough examination to see how you are.

Blurred vision can occasionally be a sign that you have diabetes. 

9. Puffy eyes

Puffy eyes signify a simple truth: you’re tired and need a bit more sleep.

While persistent puffiness could indicate an infection, it more than likely is just a sign that you’re worn out and need more shut-eye.

‘Such puffiness will usually resolve itself naturally over time,’ Dr Meades said. 

‘This often comes about as a result of fluid retention, so a cooling eye patch or sitting up to drain the fluid from your eye can help.’ 

'Most often a white ring around the cornea is a sign of ageing but it can also signal high cholesterol,' Dr Kerrie Meades told FEMAIL (stock image)

'Most often a white ring around the cornea is a sign of ageing but it can also signal high cholesterol,' Dr Kerrie Meades told FEMAIL (stock image)

‘Most often a white ring around the cornea is a sign of ageing but it can also signal high cholesterol,’ Dr Kerrie Meades told FEMAIL (stock image)

10. Bump on eye or yellow patch 

Lastly, some people develop a yellowish patch or bump on the whites to the side of their iris – and the normal reason is sun exposure.

‘We have one of the highest levels of UV reported in the world,’ Dr Meades said.

‘UV damage to the eye will give off the impression of slightly yellowed whites.’

Wearing sunglasses whenever you’re outside in the bright light will help with this, as will protecting your eyes with a cap or hat and sitting in the shade. 

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