6 Things Your Eyes Say About Your Health

6 Things Your Eyes Say About Your Health
6 Things Your Eyes Say About Your Health

Eyes are considered as mirrors to your soul, but they can also be described as mirror to your health. Your eyes reflect everything that’s going on in your body. And you have probably noticed that; for example when you’re healthy your eyes have that “sparkle”, on the other hand, when you’re feeling sick your eyes seem heavy and sick as well. Throughout this article, we’ll list things that your eyes say about your health.

  1. Thinning eyebrows

 If you notice that outer third of your eyebrows (parts closest to your ears) is slowly disappearing, without plucking etc., then you might have a thyroid disease: either overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism) or underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism). Thyroid gland is essential for your overall health as it regulates your metabolism. Furthermore, thyroid hormones are crucial for hair production.


Problems with thyroid disease usually include loss of hair on different parts of body, but since eyebrows are prominent, this occurrence is usually noticed here first. If you notice your eyebrows are thinning, you should consult your health-care provider or dermatologist. Furthermore, before your appointment, list all body changes that occurred recently.

  1. Persistent stye

 Small, slightly raised, and sometimes reddish bump that you notice along the inner or outer eyelid margin is, in fact, a stye. They aren’t dangerous. However, if this little bump is persistent and won’t go away even after three months then you might have a form of a rare cancer, sebaceous gland carcinoma.

How to tell them apart? That’s easy, although they look quite similar; styes go away within a month. On the other hand, carcinoma is persistent. You should consult an appointment and consult your ophthalmologist.

  1. Grey ring around the cornea

 If you, or someone you know, developed a grey ring around your cornea it could indicate problems with cholesterol and higher levels of triglycerides. The arcus senilis, the grey ring, could mean you have high chances of suffering from cardiovascular diseases or stroke. Ideally, you should do a blood test to check for elevated blood lipids.

  1. Cloudy eye(s)

 Noticing cloud-like formation in one or both of your eyes indicates cataract. The condition is more prevalent in older people and can be successfully eliminated through surgical procedure. However, in some cases younger people can develop cataracts as well. It usually happens due to side effects of some medications, diabetes, tumors etc.

  1. Pupils of different sizes + droopy eyelids

 If you notice that your eyelids became droopy and pupils have different sizes, you should definitely consult your doctor immediately. These symptoms could indicate presence of Homer’s syndrome which is associated with aneurysms and tumors in your neck.

  1. Twitching

 When you feel like your eye is twitching, and you can’t really control it, it’s quite uncomfortable and annoying, but nothing dangerous. Twitching usually occurs when you are stressed out, sleep-deprived, or if you had too much coffee during the day. Twitching usually goes away by itself. However, if you feel like parts of your face are twitching with your eye, then you should consult your doctor as problem could be more severe.

Tips for healthy and younger-looking eyes

 When we’re getting ready to go to work or go out on Saturday night, we spend most of our time making our eyes pop. When we’re not going out, we use masks or cucumber slices to relax the sensitive skin around the eyes. Healthy and pretty eyes are crucial for the overall appearance. Here are some tips that you could find useful:

  • Eye cream – skin around your eyes is sensitive and needs special care. Eye creams are formulated to nourish and protect this sensitive skin to make it prettier and healthier. If you don’t know how to choose the eye cream here are some tips:
    • For puffiness go for product with caffeine or cucumber
    • For dark circles opt for cream with vitamins C and K, kojic acid and licorice
    • For fine lines you should make sure cream has collagen-boosting ingredients such as retinol
  • If you have thin eyelashes, instead of wasting money on mascaras that promise to plump up the volume, you can opt for eyelash growth products
  • Wear sunglasses and hats
  • Quit smoking
  • Exercise
  • Don’t spend too much time staring at computer screen.

 Conclusion

 Your eyes reflect all changes that happen in your body. Therefore, as soon as you notice some changes in or around your eyes you should consult your health-care provider as these changes could be a sign of an underlying medical problem. Ideally, lifestyle fitness, healthy nutrition, and products formulated for your eyes are ideal for making them look healthy and pretty at all times.

 

Must watch this video: 3 Wonderful Tips for Long and Luscious Eyelashes You Should Know

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References

1. http://goweloveit.info/general/how-to-accelerate-the-growth-of-your-eyelashes/
2. http://www.mybeautygym.com/5-tips-eyelashes-longer/

Author Bio

Margaux Diaz is Health and Beauty Expert. She has interest in building knowledge and self – confidence of people who really want to improve their Life by proper Health guide and stay fit for life time. She is an inspirational writer and has written numerous Articles related to Health and Beauty. Connect with her on Facebook and Twitter

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Vision for Zambia – how you can help children in Africa see again this holiday season.

Orbis, the sight-saving charity that transforms lives by preventing and treating avoidable blindness and visual impairment, is appealing for support. For the next two months, the UK government will be doubling all public donations made to their Vision for Zambia appeal, helping the charity prevent blindness in twice as many children.

Orbis - Vision for Zambia
Orbis – Vision for Zambia
Ophthalmic Nurse, Ann-Marie Ablett (interviewed below) , is the winner of the Royal College of Nursing in Wales 2014 Humanitarian Relief Award, which recognises her amazing contribution and commitment to improving health services in areas of need around the world. She has volunteered with Orbis since 2003, using her annual leave to take part in 29 training programmes, including 7 in Zambia, sharing her skills with nurses and treating over 1000 patients.

Zambian children are four times more likely to suffer from blinding conditions, such as cataract, than those in countries such as the UK. Here the condition is thankfully rare, affecting 3 out of every 10,000. It has one of the highest rates of paediatric blindness globally however there are few ophthalmologists – 15 vs 3,000 here in the UK, and only one paediatric ophthalmologist in the entire country.

With the right access to treatment, half of paediatric vision loss can be avoided or cured. Orbis relies on its amazing medical volunteers, like Ann-Marie, to train eye care specialists, including nurses, surgeons and anaesthetists, who transform lives. Ninety percent of blind children do not attending school and 60% of die within a year of becoming blind; this appeal can make a real difference.


In order to save the sight of over 105,000 children, Vision for Zambia will raise funds to improve outreach work and train over 750 eye care professionals, including nurses. The UK public can help save a child’s sight for free – when they visit www.visionforzambia.org and sign up to find out more, a generous supporter will give £1. Until the 3rd February the UK government is matching all donations, so this simple act will generate £2.

Patient Talk – Who is Orbis and what do they do?

Ann-Marie Ablett – Orbis is a an eye charity focusing on blindness in developing countries, we focus on particularly on children, 90% of children in Zambia do not attend schools so that means there is no door open for them for the future and also shockingly 60% of children die within a year of becoming blind, that’s 3 in every 5 children because they haven’t had the opportunity or the means where they can be screened for avoidable or untreatable blindness.

Patient Talk – Ok and what does the training consist of?

Ann-Marie Ablett – Well we have Doctors, Nurses and biomedical engineers so my role as a volunteer nurse is I will work very closely with the local nurses, I will scrub with them and go through the practises and the principles of safe side surgery, reducing the risk of infection and the easiest way to do that is to make sure you wish your hands properly, there is a specific way when you are scrubbing for cases and so we are there to expose the patient to best practise and we teach the nursing staff because once we go in the door that’s all they say is ‘ help me, please help me to learn ‘ so that they can support their patients and help them to lead a productive life.

Patient Talk – Ok and can you tell us a bit more about the Vision for Zambia campaign?

Ann-Marie Ablett – It’s focusing on Vision for Zambia , focusing on screening and treating up to a 100,000 patients and we are going to do that by working in out of reach areas, we have already been working in Zambia since 2011 and now what we need to do to reach out to reach the patients in outreach areas is to train primary nurses so that they are in a position where they can focus and have a look at the patients eye and determine how early the treatment is required because the earlier you treat the condition, such as cataracts, the sooner the patients vision will be restored. The great thing about this appeal is the UK government is matching the donations which we will have from the public.

Patient Talk – What does being a volunteer involve?

Ann-Marie Ablett – Well it’s one of the easiest things that I have ever done, so what we do is work closely with the nurse, we will present the speciality they have us for ahead of time so that they can learn how to treat the patient so that they can teach their colleagues who are looking after the patients on the wards, so to do that they have got to have an understanding of the problem and the possible complications, nothing is 100% guaranteed and there is always a possibility of a complication so if they know what to look for they can then tell the patient like in cataracts surgery a pain that is not controlled by pain killers than that’s an indication that you need to contact the surgeon.

Patient Talk – Ok who should become a volunteer and how would someone apply to do the types of things that you do?

Ann-Marie Ablett – Well the easiest thing to do is ring up Orbis it’s the most amazing charity, it’s very supportive and I am lucky enough to go to all those countries where the need is greatest, 60% of children die within 1 year of becoming blind and that’s 3 out of 5 children so if you have the opportunity to go there and work with the local nurses to prevent that you would certainly take it up and once you go once you are going to be addicted as I have been addicted for 13 years now and I carry on going so if you were to contact Orbis.org.uk they will take it further and before you know where you are you will be on the plane to an interesting developing country and meeting new colleagues.

Patient Talk – Ok and I just wanted to ask, why did you volunteer?

Ann-Marie Ablett – There are 2 doctors at the hospital who volunteered at Orbis and I asked if I can go and they said ‘no orbis has got their own personal staff ‘ so I wasn’t going to take no for an answer so with further investigation and a bit of determination I found myself going to Zambia And once I got there I realised my practises were no different, we go there to exchange our skills and knowledge and the reception we had from the nurses, really nurses are nurses the world over and all we want to do is care for our patients but I would like to say that once you do it once you won’t ever want to stop just if you don’t do it it’s as though there is a piece if the jigsaw missing and to complete that part of your life you have to go and do something, it’s very addictive.

Patient Talk – Well I was going to say, what is the best thing you have got out of the experience?

Ann-Marie Ablett – Well the opportunity to change the lives of children and their family as well as to do the job I do and exchange the information I have got to make sure my skills are up to date and evidence based but when you think that just by going there for a week or maybe two week you can change the life of the patient and their family and the community, it’s such a warm feeling that you can’t get anywhere else, you can’t buy it and its really quite a selfish feeling because when you go home you think I did something that not many are doing, how lucky am I but then that’s because I work with Orbis and that focuses on education so it boils down to education.

Patient Talk – Ok and what other resources are out there for patients and for people who wish to donate?

Ann-Marie Ablett– Well if they sign up to VisionforZambia.org then we will receive a £1 from generous donors and that will be matched by the UK government so please just sign up to that.

Patient Talk – Ok thank you very much Ann-Marie.

Ann-Marie Ablett – Thank you.

Do you know what are the risks to your eye health? Find out about blue light and UV rays

New research reveals most Britons unaware of damage to their eyes by surrounding objects, activities, and devices.

Anatomy of the human eye
Anatomy of the human eye

The poll has shown that many British people remain uninformed about the various ways in which eyes are damaged by common daily factors, despite evidence that eye health is affected by blue light[i], UV rays (reflected from common surfaces)[ii], diet[iii], obesity[iv], and smoking[v].

Of the 2,096 people polled, the percentage of respondents aware of the link between known factors affecting and eye health were:

  • Poor diet (59%)
  • Obesity (35%)
  • Smoking tobacco (36%)
  • UV light, not just direct from the sun but reflected off shiny surfaces (54%)
  • Blue light from low energy lightbulbs and electronic screens (29%)

Over one in ten people were completely unaware that any of these factors could affect your eyesight at all.

72% of respondents own or wear prescription glasses but only 28% knew that there were lenses available (for both prescription and non-prescription glasses) to protect against some of these factors. Namely ‘blue light’ (emitted from electronic devices and low energy light bulbs), and ‘UV light’ (not only directly from the sun but also from reflections such as off of water, windows, and road surfaces).


76% admitted they haven’t heard of E-SPF ratings – the grade given to lenses to show the level of protection they offer against UV.

Just 13% have lenses with protection from direct and reflected UV light, and only 2% have protection from blue light (from screens, devices, and low energy bulbs).

Poll results showed that younger people were most aware of the dangers of UV and blue light, yet least aware of how smoking tobacco and obesity can affect your eye health. W

Awareness of the impacts of smoking and obesity on eye health is significantly higher in Scotland (47% & 49% respectively) than anywhere else in the UK (35% & 33% in England and 40% & 38% in Wales).

Essilor’s Professional Relations Manager, Andy Hepworth, has commented: “The lack of awareness about these common risks to people’s eyes is concerning. Not only would many more glasses wearers be better protected, but also many people who do not wear glasses would likely take precautions too, if made aware of the dangers and the existence of non-prescription protective lenses”

To see the full results of the poll, please visit the Essilor site here: http://www.essilor.co.uk/all_about_vision/all_about_vision_news_events/Eye_Health_At_Risk

For more information on the protection offered from blue light and UV through specialist lens coatings, for both prescriptions and non-prescription glasses, please see here for Essilor UV & Blue Light Protection.

 

*All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 2,096 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 21st and 24th August 2015.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

[i] Blue light causes a chemical to be produced that brings on cell death in the eye. Over time this can lead to age related muscular degeneration (AMD). – Aging of Cultured Retinal Pigment Epithelial Cells: Oxidative Reactions, Lipofuscin Formation and Blue Light Damage – Documenta Ophthalmologica. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1023/A:1022419606629

 

[ii] Prolonged exposure to UV rays can bring about early-onset cataracts and premature ocular aging. – Effect of Ultraviolet Radiation on Cataract Formation – The New England Journal of Medicine. http://www.nejm.org/doi/pdf/10.1056/NEJM198812013192201
Reflected UV rays are arguably more important than direct rays, as they are responsible for 50% of the UV radiation we receive, yet it is not as immediately obvious to the public that this is a concern. – Meyler J and Schnider C. The role of UV-blocking soft CLs in ocular protection. Optician 2002, 223: 5854: 28-32.

 

[iii] A good diet rich in carotenoids from foods such as broccoli, green beans, leafy greens, foods with vitamins C and E, foods with omega-3 fatty acids and foods with zinc can help prevent macular degeneration. – Dietary Antioxidants and the Long-term Incidence of Age-Related Macular Degeneration: The Blue Mountains Eye Study – Ophthalmology. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0161642007004745 and Dietary Carotenoids, Vitamins A, C, and E, and Advanced Age-Related Macular Degeneration – The Journal of the American Medical Association. http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=382145

 

[iv] Obesity puts pressure on to blood vessels, which are especially delicate in your eyes, and this causes damage that can lead to poor vision. Obesity is also related to poor nutrition, which can prevent your eyes from getting the vitamins they need to maintain good health. – Obesity, Lutein Metabolism, and Age-Related Macular Degeneration: a Web of Connections – Nutrition Reviews – Oxford Journals. http://nutritionreviews.oxfordjournals.org/content/63/1/9

 

[1] Blue light causes a chemical to be produced that brings on cell death in the eye. Over time this can lead to age related muscular degeneration (AMD). – Aging of Cultured Retinal Pigment Epithelial Cells: Oxidative Reactions, Lipofuscin Formation and Blue Light Damage – Documenta Ophthalmologica. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1023/A:1022419606629

 

[1] Prolonged exposure to UV rays can bring about early-onset cataracts and premature ocular aging. – Effect of Ultraviolet Radiation on Cataract Formation – The New England Journal of Medicine. http://www.nejm.org/doi/pdf/10.1056/NEJM198812013192201
Reflected UV rays are arguably more important than direct rays, as they are responsible for 50% of the UV radiation we receive, yet it is not as immediately obvious to the public that this is a concern. – Meyler J and Schnider C. The role of UV-blocking soft CLs in ocular protection. Optician 2002, 223: 5854: 28-32.

 

[1] A good diet rich in carotenoids from foods such as broccoli, green beans, leafy greens, foods with vitamins C and E, foods with omega-3 fatty acids and foods with zinc can help prevent macular degeneration. – Dietary Antioxidants and the Long-term Incidence of Age-Related Macular Degeneration: The Blue Mountains Eye Study – Ophthalmology. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0161642007004745 and Dietary Carotenoids, Vitamins A, C, and E, and Advanced Age-Related Macular Degeneration – The Journal of the American Medical Association. http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=382145

 

[1] Obesity puts pressure on to blood vessels, which are especially delicate in your eyes, and this causes damage that can lead to poor vision. Obesity is also related to poor nutrition, which can prevent your eyes from getting the vitamins they need to maintain good health. – Obesity, Lutein Metabolism, and Age-Related Macular Degeneration: a Web of Connections – Nutrition Reviews – Oxford Journals. http://nutritionreviews.oxfordjournals.org/content/63/1/9

 

[1] Smoking amplifies the impact of oxidation on cells in the eye, as well as restricting blood flow and causing build-up of heavy metals in the eye. – Smoking And Neovascular Form Of Age Related Macular Degeneration In Late Middle Aged Males: Findings From A Case-Control Study In Japan – British Journal of Ophthalmology. http://bjo.bmj.com/content/81/10/901.full

 

[v] Smoking amplifies the impact of oxidation on cells in the eye, as well as restricting blood flow and causing build-up of heavy metals in the eye. – Smoking And Neovascular Form Of Age Related Macular Degeneration In Late Middle Aged Males: Findings From A Case-Control Study In Japan – British Journal of Ophthalmology. http://bjo.bmj.com/content/81/10/901.full

 

World Glaucoma Week – What is Glaucoma? Are you at risk?


world glaucoma weekThis week as you can see is World Glaucoma Week. As one of my aunts suffers from the condition I am delighted to share a bit more about the week with my readers.

So what is glaucoma? Well the World Glaucoma Week web site has produced an excellent definition which we would like to share with you.

“Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that cause progressive damage of the optic nerve at the point
where it leaves the eye to carry visual information to the brain. If left untreated, most types of
glaucoma progress (because the person with glaucoma cannot see the symptoms) towards slow
worsening visual damage and possible blindness. This visual damage is mostly irreversible, and this
has led to glaucoma being described as the “sneak thief of sight”.

Glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness worldwide, yet 90% could have been
prevented. 9 million persons globally are blind from it and this number will rise as the population ages and increases
. Owing to the silent progression of the disease – at least in its early stages – up to 50%
of affected persons in developed countries are not aware of having glaucoma and are receiving no
treatment3
. This number rises to 90% in less developed parts of the world. ”

To find out more about risk factors, screening and treatments please check out our blog post for National Glaucoma Awareness Month which tool place in January.


World Glaucoma Day

Some Amazing Facts about the History of Cataracts from Hayley Irvin


Cataracts - what it is like to have cataracts
Cataracts – what it is like to have cataracts

Cataracts, a natural result of the aging process, are the world’s leading cause of blindness. Although humans have known about cataracts for thousands of years, treatment options for most of our history were limited to painful and dangerous procedures that offered little in the way of visual improvement. Check out these interesting and little-known facts to learn more about the history of cataracts!

Cataract surgery has been performed for thousands of years.

The earliest artistic representation of a cataract is a small wooden statue of an Egyptian priest from approximately 2457-2467 B.C.E. A white patch, believed to represent a cataract, is carved into the priest’s left eye. The earliest known representation of a cataract removal procedure appeared on the walls of Egyptian temples and tombs centuries later. The word “Cataract” come from the Greek word used for “waterfall” because prior to the 1700s, people believed that cataracts were “opaque material flowing like a waterfall, into the eye”.

500 B.C a procedure, known as couching, could only be performed on people with advanced cataracts. As cataracts worsen, the lens becomes opaque and rigid and the lens capsule and zonules that hold it in place weaken. Early couching procedures involved hitting the patient’s eye with a blunt object in order to displace the lens so it could be absorbed into the vitreous humor in the back of the eye. Because contact lenses hadn’t been invented yet, patients were often left slightly improved but extremely blurry vision.


Early cataract surgery involved a needle, a steady hand, and no anesthetics.

Though cataract removal procedures remained relatively unchanged for centuries, by 29 AD Western physicians had started using a needle break to break up cataractous lens into smaller pieces that would be more easily absorbed into the back of the eye. Because topical anesthetics wouldn’t be more invented for a few hundred more years, doctors required the help of a strong-armed assistant to hold the patient down while they jabbed their eye with a needle. Ouch.

Cataracts  - couching procedure
Cataracts – couching procedure

The advent of “needling” meant that patients did not have to wait until they had advanced cataracts to have them removed. However, as antibiotics and sterile surgical equipment were still a few centuries in the making, the procedure had a high mortality rate, a long recovery period, and still left patients with incredibly blurry vision.

Parisian Jacques Daviel performed the first cataract extraction procedure in 1748.

In couching and needling procedures, the lens was not actually removed from the eye – just displaced and reabsorbed. In Daviel’s procedure, an incision was made to the outer layer of the eye in order to completely remove the lens, leaving part of the lens capsule behind. Londoner Samuel Sharpe introduced a new variation of this surgery in 1753, in which he used his thumb to apply pressure and pop the lens out of the eye. Thankfully, by 1902, doctors were using small suction cups and forceps – you know, actual medical equipment – to remove the lens from the eye.

Intraocular lenses were first developed in 1940 by Englishman Harold Ridley.

Up until the invention of the intraocular lens, cataract surgery left patients with poor visual acuity. Although patients were no longer experiencing cloudy, yellowed, or distorted vision, the lack of lens made it impossible for their eyes to focus light. IOLS changed everything for cataract patients.

Made of plastic, early IOLs provided a permanent solution to vision loss associated with cataracts by giving the eye another lens through which to focus. This improved visual acuity in addition to getting rid of a patient’s cataracts. Since then, IOLs have received numerous upgrades to make them safer and more comfortable for wearers. Now, IOLs are made out of flexible material that respond to your eye muscle’s natural movements and can treat a number of eye problems, including presbyopia and astigmatisms.

In 1967, New Yorker Charles Kelman introduced the phacoemulsification technique for cataract surgeries.

Unlike previous procedures that required a large incision in the cornea to remove cataracts, this technique uses ultrasonic vibrations to break up the lens into incredibly small pieces that could be sucked out through a tiny incision in the eye. Kelman’s innovation, which was less painful and had a shorter recovery time than other cataract removal procedures, further improved the patient experience during and after the surgery.

Claude Monet, the father of French Impressionism, developed cataracts in his old age.

 A product of the aging process, no one is immune to cataracts – even artists. French Impressionist painter Claude Monet developed cataracts during his later years, though he would eventually have them removed.

Cataracts and Monet
Cataracts and Monet

This series of images illustrates how Monet’s cataracts affected his work. Image A, from Waterlilies, was painted while Monet had cataracts. Put through a filter, image B shows what this piece looked like to Monet through his cataracts.Image C, Morning with Weeping Willows, was painted after his cataracts were removed. Notice the differences in color and detail before and after undergoing cataract surgery. The first image really speaks to Monet’s talent as a painter, considering what it looked like to him!

With a 98% success rate modern cataract surgery is one of the safest and most effective surgical procedures performed today. There are more than 3 million cataract surgeries performed in the U.S. every year, and most patients experience greatly improved vision after the surgery. Thanks to computer-assisted technology and the femtosecond laser, it is safer than ever to undergo cataract surgery. If you’re experiencing vision loss due to cataracts, speak with your ophthalmologist today about the best treatment options available to you. Enjoy incredible sight for life!

 

BIO: Hayley Irvin is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma. When she’s not creating awesome content for Marketing Zen Group & Eyecare2020 , she’s writing about basketball, learning about space, and thwarting her cats’ attempts to take over the world. Catch up with her on Twitter @HayleyNIrvin.