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The Eye -Facts You May Not Know

Updated on March 19, 2018
Pamela99 profile image

I spent 22 years in the nursing profession, and I enjoy writing about medical issues. I'm also interested in history, genealogy, and travel.

Anatomy of 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


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.

High cholesterol, tumors, cancer and thyroid disease may also be noted during an eye exam.

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.

Eye - Healthy

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.

Allergy Effect on Eyes


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 and the way they respond to various situations.

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?

See results

The copyright, renewed in 2018, for this article is owned by Pamela Oglesby. Permission to republish this article in print or online must be granted by the author in writing.


Submit a Comment
  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    7 years ago from Sunny Florida

    RTalloni, Thanks so much for your comments.

  • profile image


    7 years ago

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

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    7 years ago from Sunny Florida

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

  • wilderness profile image

    Dan Harmon 

    7 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 imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    7 years ago from Sunny Florida

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

  • prasetio30 profile image


    7 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!


  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    7 years ago from Sunny Florida

    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.

  • Rolly A Chabot profile image

    Rolly A Chabot 

    7 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 imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    7 years ago from Sunny Florida

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

  • SubRon7 profile image

    James W. Nelson 

    7 years ago from eastern North Dakota

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

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    7 years ago from Sunny Florida

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

  • profile image


    7 years ago

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

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    7 years ago from Sunny Florida

    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.

  • drbj profile image

    drbj and sherry 

    7 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 imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    7 years ago from Sunny Florida

    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.

  • teaches12345 profile image

    Dianna Mendez 

    7 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.

  • quildon profile image

    Angela Joseph 

    7 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!

  • anglnwu profile image


    7 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.

  • anglnwu profile image


    7 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.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    7 years ago from Sunny Florida

    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.

  • PegCole17 profile image

    Peg Cole 

    7 years ago from Northeast of Dallas, Texas

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

  • breakfastpop profile image


    7 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!!

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    7 years ago from Sunny Florida

    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.

  • Gypsy Willow profile image

    Gypsy Willow 

    7 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!

  • profile image


    7 years ago

    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.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    7 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Sofs, Thank you for your comments.

  • sofs profile image


    7 years ago

    Informative hub. Great information. Have a great day!

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    7 years ago from Sunny Florida

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

  • Sunshine625 profile image

    Linda Bilyeu 

    7 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!


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