The Eye -Facts You May Not Know

The Human Eye

The eye is an amazing part of the body and in addition to vision; there are many things an ophthalmologist and retinal specialist can detect through a simple examination. Even if you have 20-20 vision a check-up for eyes is a smart move. Quite often an eye doctor might be the first to detect a serious health problem that is unrelated to vision.

Eyes are about 1” in diameter and there are actually pads of fat along with bone that protect your eyes. The eye works very much like a camera. Basically there are three layers: the sclera, the choroid layer and the retina. A simplified definition of how the eye works is: light enters the cornea, the pupil and lens before it is projected onto the retina. Electrical impulses are transformed by the retina via ganglion neurons, which is the optic nerve that transmits signals to the brain.

Parts of the Eye

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Eye - Healthy

Diseases Detected in an Eye Exam

There are arteries and veins in the eye which are examined during a routine eye exam which might reveal diabetes or high blood pressure. Approximately 65% of the time an eye doctor can detect high cholesterol before your family doctor confirms this with a blood test. This condition will show up as yellowish plaque in the retinal blood vessels.

At least 20% of the people with high blood pressure don’t know they have this disease as there are no symptoms. The arterial blood vessels in the eye of people with hypertension have a silver or copper hue. Left untreated, hypertension caused the blood vessels throughout the body to harden, which will increase the risk of a heart attack or stroke.

As for diabetes, the elevated blood sugar will damage the blood vessels over time and can eventually lead to blindness. The eye doctor can detect seepage or new, abnormal blood vessels which grow to replace the affected ones. This is a big indicator of abnormally high blood sugar.

Allergy Effect on Eyes

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Effect of Allergies on Your Eyes

Allergies can certainly affect the eyes as many of us are aware. Allergies can lead to swollen ocular surface blood vessels with symptoms include red watery eyes, swelling and itchy eyes. Your eyes are actually secreting anti-inflammatory histamines and other natural chemicals. Anti-histamines and eye drops are used as treatment, but if your reaction is severe seeing an eye doctor is the best choice.

Tiger Eyes

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Eyes are the Window to the Soul

While it is commonly believed that this verse is in the Bible, the only one I found was in Mark 7-20-23 and it said "The eyes are likened to the windows of the heart", which I think is true. We can learn a lot about another person by looking into their eyes,

Eyes Are the Window to the Soul

Eyes are the windows to the soul
Throughout my life I’ve been told
To see into anothers heart
Eyes are the place to start

Be they hazel, green or blue
Black, brown color changing too
Matters not what color they be
They show what one needs to see

Through these windows the truth lies
Emotionally nothing hides
Clear for all too recognize
Displayed to the world in ones eyes

Evident are anger, lust and surprise
Fear, truth, lust, hope and despise
Happiness, sorrow, and confusion
Inside familiar eyes there is no illusion

To gaze deeply is an intense moment
For the eyes are an intimate component
Although prominent noticed by all
Often the feature hardest to recall

Written by Vern Eaker

Autoimmune Diseases

Autoimmune diseases can also attack the health cells and tissues of the eye through inflammation. The doctor looks for inflammation inside the swollen ocular surface blood of the eye. If an autoimmune disease is present they will find 30-50% of the vessels to be inflamed and they are red, watery and itchy. These finding would indicate the patient should see a rheumatologist to test for autoimmune diseases. One autoimmune disease, called Sjogrens Disease, causes dry eyes, which can be treated with Restasis, eye drops and ointments before bed.

Stress Causing Eye Disease?

Excessive mental or emotional stress can cause a condition called Central Serous Retinopathy (CSR), which causes blisters inside the eyeball. The body is taxed to the degree that the retina starts to leak fluid which forms blisters. This was typically found in men with “Type A personalities”, but is being diagnosed in women more frequently now. The symptoms are blurred vision, or seeing wavy lines when attempting to focus. Decreasing the individual’s stress level is the best cure, but some are being treated vie eye surgery with lasers

Green Eye

Cancer in the Eyeball

It is possible to get cancer in your eyeball. Sometimes a small growth called a nevus will be found by the ophthalmologist. This is a common benign growth, quite like a mole on your skin. While they usually remain harmless they are watched closely because they can develop into an ocular melanoma (cancer of the eye).

Vitamins for the Eyes

There are some vitamins that are especially good for your eyes. Lutein is helpful to prevent macular degeneration, which is a common condition of the elderly. Omega-3 provides essential fatty acids which help keep you eyes and heart healthy. Flaxseed oil and fish oil is good for dry eyes. Vitamin A and Beta Carotene are excellent also and deficiency of these vitamins can cause blindness. Also, Vitamin C, Bioflavonoid, Vitamin E and zinc may reduce the risk of cataracts also.

In Conclusion

There are numerous eye conditions which are not covered in this hub. What is amazing is how many other diseases can be detected during a routine eye examination. If you have burning eyes, swollen eyes, yellow in the whites of your eyes, see floaters, have symptoms of an eye infection or any discomfort in your eyes, and please see your physician or eye doctor.

Eye Problems and Eye Exams

Have you had an eye examination in the past year?

  • I have had an eye exam and it was perfectly normal or I now wear glasses or contacts.
  • I have not had an eye exam ever.
  • I haven't had an eye exam in the last couple of years but I wear glasses or contacts.
See results without voting

© 2012 Pamela Oglesby

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Comments 29 comments

Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

Hi Pam! This is an excellent hub about eyes! I thought I knew it all when it comes to eyesight due to my numerous visits to the eye doc with different family members. Voted UP and very informative. Thanks!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States Author

Linda, I am glad the hub was informative for you. I appreciate your comments.


sofs profile image

sofs 4 years ago

Informative hub. Great information. Have a great day!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States Author

Sofs, Thank you for your comments.


SusieQ42 profile image

SusieQ42 4 years ago from Lakeland, FL

Interesting hub, Pamela! Looks like I'm not the only one who hasn't had an eye exam in the last couple of years. Oh well, we'll blame it on the economy. Thanks for sharing, voted up and interesting.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 4 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

Excellent advice. With age I realise i should get a check up!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States Author

Susie, I'm glad you enjoyed the hub and I appreciate your comments. We can blame a lot on the economy these days.

Gypsy Willow, I hope this was a good reminder. Thanks for your comments.


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 4 years ago

Terrific and informative hub. I had cataracts and had Restora lenes put in during surgery. i no longer need glasses and I can see Russia!!


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 4 years ago from Dallas, Texas

Very informative Pamela. I'm overdue for an eye exam and this hub is a good reminder to get it done. Thanks.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States Author

BPOP, I think its great you can see Russia from NJ! Thanks for your comments.

PegCole, I'm glad this was a good reminder for you. I appreciate your comments.


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 4 years ago

My husband is an eye doctor and he often tells me that he can detect diseases just by looking at the eyes. I think it's amazing how eyes are not just windows to the soul but how it can tell so much more about the body. Thanks for the informative hub and rated up.


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 4 years ago

Very informative hub. My husband is an eye doctor and he tells me he can tell what kinds of diseases a person has from looking inside the eye. The eye is quite an amazing creation--the window into the soul is also a window into the health of the body. Voted up.


quildon profile image

quildon 4 years ago from Florida

Great hub, Pamela. I especially like the part about Vitamins. I'm going to use my flaxseed more often now. I suffer from eyestrain a lot, I guess because of the amount of time I spend on the computer, but my doctor always says my eyes are healthy. Thank God!


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 4 years ago

I think it is fascinating that doctors can detect high cholesterol levels just by examing the eyes. I love your blue capsule on "the eyes are the window to the soul". Thanks for sharing such important and useful information.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States Author

anginwu, I didn't know that your husband was an eye doctor, so you probably already knew much of this information. I sure appreciate your comments.

quildon, I think eyestrain when you use a computer for hours is very common. Using eye drops might help relieve your symptoms as they help me. Thank you for your comments.

teaches, I found that interesting also. Thank you for your comments.


drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida

Very important information, Pamela. Thank you for your research and sharing it. Regarding the quotation: 'The eyes are the windows to the soul,' I have heard it attributed to the Bible, to Cicero, an early Roman philosopher, and to Freud. Whoever said it first, it is significant. Even more significant is what a physician can learn, as you pointed out, about a person's health by studying a person's eyes.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States Author

drbj, I don't know if we'll ever know for sure who said that quote first, but I believe it is significant also. Thank you for your comments.


quildon 4 years ago

I've also found eye exercises to be helpful. I think I'll do a hub on it.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States Author

quildon, I would like to read a hub about eye exercises. Thanks for your comments.


SubRon7 profile image

SubRon7 4 years ago from eastern North Dakota

Good hub, Pamela. Sometimes we forget just how important our eyes are.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States Author

SubRon, Yes, we sure do. Thanks for your comments.


Rolly A Chabot profile image

Rolly A Chabot 4 years ago from Alberta Canada

Hi Pam... vision is so very important and thank you for writing this and sharing with people.

Back in 2000 I discovered I had Glaucoma far too late and had lost about 40% of mt vision in my left eye but caught it in time on the right. Life changed quickly and it is something I will never recover. For those who have Glaucoma in the family please get tested on a regular basis as the result in damage is regrettable.

Hugs from Canada


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States Author

Rolly, I guess we can't emphasize the need for eye testing enough. I am glad that caught the right eye in time. Thank your for your comments. Hugs.


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 4 years ago from malang-indonesia

This was very informative hub about the facts of eyes. I should care more with my eyes and I learn much from you, Pamela. I had never know about the cancer in the eyeball. You come up with solution by enclose the vitamin for the eyes. Thanks for share with us. Rated up (useful, awesome, interesting). Take care and enjoy your day!

Prasetio


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States Author

prasetio, Thank you so much for your comments. Take care.


wilderness profile image

wilderness 4 years ago from Boise, Idaho

Your hub is informative and useful to me - thanks. I just returned from an eye exam where I set up an appointment for cataract surgery to implant a new lens.

Any information on eye health is thus quite interesting to me and I had no idea so many diseases and problems could be found from an eye exam.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States Author

wilderness, I had the same surgery and now I don't need glasses. Thank you so much for your comments.


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

Interesting read--glad to see the encouragement to get regular check-ups!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States Author

RTalloni, Thanks so much for your comments.

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