The Eyes Have It!

In an article written by Lexi Petronis for Glamour Magazine, “5 Surprising Things Your Eyes Can Tell You About Your Health”, she tells us a few things we probably didn’t know about what our eyes are capable of telling us.

There’s the saying about how your (lovely!) eyes are the windows to your soul, right? But it turns out that those same lovely, lovely eyes may just also offer some insight (ha) as to what’s up with your entire body too.

According to the experts at LensCrafters, your eyes can actually give you a peek (um, I really promise I’m not trying to pun here) into what’s going on with the rest of you. Seriously, just look (see?) at what Dr. Mark Jacquot, clinical director for LensCrafters, has to say…

Stress: If you suffer from sustained emotional stress, you may be at risk for Central Serous Retinopathy—otherwise known as blisters inside the eye (blergh!). The LensCrafters experts say this is a condition that’s been, historically, mostly observed in men—but it’s lately become more common among women. It’s a sign that stress may be taking its toll. If you have difficulty focusing up close or keeping your place when you read, see an optometrist, who can prescribe treatment—but be aware that the condition may have to do with your overall stressful lifestyle.

High Blood Pressure: When you’re young, your blood pressure might not be as carefully monitored by your general practitioner as it would be with older patients—but an eye exam could actually catch the issue. If your optometrist catches swelling in your eye’s blood vessels or optic nerve, it might indicate a blood pressure problem.

Computer Vision Syndrome: If you’ve logged enough time on the ol’ laptop or any type of LED screen, you know this is a real thing. It causes dry, irritated eyes, and can actually increase the risk of your becoming nearsighted—but it can also result in exhaustion and irritation, which makes it harder to focus. LensCrafters says that there has been a steady uptick in patients as young as 20 years old who have extensive eye fatigue and report problems in focusing.

Diabetes: Leaky blood vessels in the eye might mean that you’re diabetic or pre-diabetic. Because diabetes can eventually damage your vision, it’s good to catch it early in order to manage the symptoms and preserve sight.

Possible Impending Health Crisis: During an eye exam, the optometrist gets an up-close look at your blood vessels and the optic nerve that leads to your brain. If there are swelling or shadows present, that could suggest a serious problem—like clots (that could lead to a stroke) or even a tumor. (In a handful of routine eye exams, LensCrafters doctors have sent patients directly to the ER after seeing these kinds of signs. Yikes.)

The takeaway here? Get an eye exam. Even if your last one was 20/20 perfecto, it’s still important to get regular checkups, just as you would for all of the other parts of your body. As a little incentive: LensCrafters has updated its eye-exam process with new AccuExams; it uses digital technology to pinpoint any issues and even incorporate interactive animations and videos to clearly explain them, which makes the whole thing easy-breezy.

When did you last have an eye examination?