Researchers at Pittsburgh University claim that on top of being the window to the soul, eyes are also the window to our health. After lengthy studies, they concluded that the colour of our eyes could indicate several kind of health conditions and could affect the way we feel pain, our sports abilities and even the amount of alcohol we can drink.

According to the scientists, ‘women with lighter colored eyes experience less pain during childbirth compared to women with darker eyes. People with lighter eyes also consume significantly more alcohol, as darker eyed people require less alcohol to become intoxicated.’

An identical study done at the University of Louisville, found that people with lighter coloured eyes prohibited slower reaction times which apparently helped during activities that required more planning, such as playing golf or studying. What is the reason for the big affect our eye colour has on health and skills? – our genes of course.

A senior lecturer in biomolecular sciences at Liverpool John Moores University explained that: ‘’What we know now is that eye color is based on 12 to 13 individual variations in people’s genes… These genes do other things in the body’’.  (Science Daily)

Window into our health

Santosh Kumar writes: “If I can see pain in your eyes then share with me your tears. If I can see joy in your eyes then share with me your smile”. Numerous poems and songs have been written on the beauty and meaning of the eyes.

Ophthalmologist Andrew Iwach, however, points out that the eyes are a unique window into our health. The executive director of the Glaucoma Center of San Francisco explains that: “It’s the only place in the body where, without surgery, we can look in and see veins, arteries, and a nerve (the optic nerve).Unfortunately, people get busy and delay not only eye exams but regular physicals. That’s why eye doctors sometimes discover other issues, like diabetes or high blood pressure.”

But what are of the most common problems that can we spot through our eyes?

Disappearing eyebrows

Shaved eyebrows are a fad (or fashion, if you will) in some circles. But when the outer third of the brow (the part closest to the ears) starts to disappear on its own, this is a common sign of thyroid disease — either hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid gland) or hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid gland).

The thyroid is a small but critical gland that helps regulate metabolism, and thyroid hormones are among those critical to hair production.

Bumpy yellowish patches on the eyelid

Xanthelasma palpebra, the medical name for these tiny yellow bumps, are usually a warning that you may have high cholesterol. They’re also called “cholesterol bumps” — they’re basically fatty deposits.

Burning eyes, blurry vision while using a computer

You might be a workaholic, and you definitely have “computer vision syndrome” (CVS). The eyestrain is partly caused by the lack of contrast on a computer screen (compared with ink on paper) and the extra work involved in focusing on pixels of light. What’s more, by midlife the eyes lose some of their ability to produce lubricating tears. Irritation sets in, adding to blurriness and discomfort.

Increasing gunk in the eye

Blepharitis — inflammation of the eyelids, especially at the edges — can have several causes. Two of them, surprisingly, are conditions better associated with other body parts: scalp dandruff and acne rosacea (which causes flushed red skin, usually in the faces of fair-skinned women at midlife).

A small blind spot in your vision, with shimmering lights or a wavy line

An ocular migraine (also called an “ophthalmic migraine,” “optical migraine,” or “migraine aura”) produces this disturbed vision, with or without an accompanying headache. Changes in blood flow to the brain are thought to be the cause.

Red, itchy eyes

Many things can irritate eyes, but itchiness accompanied by sneezing, coughing, sinus congestion, and/or a runny nose, usually screams “I’m allergic!” When the eyes are involved, the trigger is usually airborne, like pollen, dust, or animal dander.

Whites of the eye turned yellowish

Two groups of people most often show this symptom, known as jaundice: Newborns with immature liver function and adults with problems of the liver, gallbladder, or bile ducts, including hepatitis and cirrhosis. The yellow in the white part of the eye (the sclera) is caused by a buildup of bilirubin, the by-product of old red blood cells the liver can’t process.

A bump or brown spot on the eyelid

Even people who are vigilant about checking their skin may overlook the eyelid as a spot where skin cancer can strike. Most malignant eyelid tumors are basal cell carcinoma. When such a tumor appears as a brown spot, then — as with any other form of skin cancer — it’s more likely to be malignant melanoma.

Sudden difficulty closing one eye, inability to control tears in it

Bell’s palsy is an impairment of the nerve that controls facial muscles (the seventh cranial nerve), causing temporary paralysis in half the face. It sometimes follows a viral infection (such as shingles, mono, or HIV) or a bacterial infection (such as Lyme disease). Diabetics and pregnant women are also at higher risk. (Caring.Com)

If you notice any of the signs and symptoms above you should contact your doctor as soon as possible. Until then, let’s turn back time with Kylie!

 

 

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Psychologist, world citizen, mother - Effie is one half of the alwaysladies.com founding pair. She can bring to life any party with either a smile, or a strong opinion. If like us you can't get enough of Effie, visit her blog at www.thethinkingmomblog.com

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