Vision is one of the most important health indicators. There are common diseases of the eye, such as glaucoma, cataracts, and macular dystrophy, but sometimes visual impairment indicates other serious problems in the body.
Nothing in our body functions separately. So our eyes are connected to the central nervous system and other systems of the body. Do you feel that something strange is happening to your eyesight? In this article, we have collected six non-obvious reasons for such changes.
1. High Сholesterol
Often, patients with high cholesterol notice a temporary loss of vision and darkness in their eyes. This is because the carotid arteries are clogged with plaque, so they try their best to provide blood to the eyes. In addition, symptoms may be accompanied by pain in the eyes, a gray ring around the cornea (corneal arch) or problems with adaptation to bright light. In some cases, yellowish deposits of cholesterol, xanthelasma, may appear on the eyelids or in the corners of the eyes.
Sudden loss of vision will frighten anyone. This may be a sign of a high risk of stroke, and especially in those cases if the person has already had it. Typically, the loss of vision from a stroke occurs in only one eye but sometimes it may occur in both. You will be surprised, but there is also such a disease as a stroke of the retina. It occurs when blood vessels in the retina become clogged with plaque. People with high blood pressure are at an especially high risk of this disease.
3. Thyroid Dysfunction or Disease
The thyroid gland, a butterfly-like organ in the neck, controls certain hormones that help to regulate growth and metabolism. When the thyroid gland is not functioning properly, it can lead to a number of problems, including a double image in the eyes and even swelling of the eye muscles, which causes the eyes to bulge and look bigger than usual.
The most serious disease in this sense should be considered Graves’ disease (goiter’s disease) - an autoimmune disorder characterized by protrusion of the eyeballs. That’s why it is important to exam thyroid gland every single year and, if something is wrong, to start thyroid dysfunction treatment in time.
A regular eye exam is a good idea anyway, but you should go to an ophthalmologist twice as often if you are diagnosed with diabetes or have a high risk of diabetes. Diabetes can make macula swollen or make it hold excess fluid— the part of the retina that controls central vision. This will certainly not lead to a complete loss of vision, but will seriously weaken it.
5. Eye Migraine
The periodic sensation of flicker in the eyes may indicate a disease such as ocular migraine (or atrial scotoma). Interestingly, it is not necessarily a matter of flashes of light, since these can also be “blind spots”. In this case, the phenomenon usually lasts no more than 5-10 minutes and is accompanied by blurred vision and headache before or after a migraine attack. If this happened to you more than once, and especially - if flashes occurred in only one eye, you should immediately consult with an ophthalmologist for advice.
6. Autoimmune Diseases
If the eyelids suddenly become overhanging and this is absolutely not related to the typical characteristics of your appearance, there is a high risk of an autoimmune disorder called myasthenia. One of the common symptoms of myasthenia is muscular weakness, and this, in turn, leads to the fact that the eyes involuntarily close and the eyelid hangs over time. At the same time, lupus and some types of arthritis can trigger uveitis, an inflammation of the choroid, which often causes poor vision and blindness.