The Eyes as a Window to the Body’s Health

The eyes are often celebrated as a window to the soul, and why not. These wonderful orbs are our biggest connection to the world at large. How else could one behold the wonders such as the oceans? Or appreciate the beauty of the Madonna as well as ancient Benin artifacts? The eyes are sure useful in getting from one point to the other without tumbling head over heels.

But as useful as they are as sensory organs, the eyes can do amazingly more than that. As external windows to the inside of the body, whatever is going on inside can be reflected in the eyes. A lot of diseases and ailments give symptoms that are reflected in the eyes.

From pale eyes to droopy leads and discharges, here’s some help in interpreting ill health signals given by your eyes.

  1. Drooping eyelid

    Droopy lids
    Drooping eyelids

Eyelids start to droop naturally around the time most people hit the big 4 and 0. How can you tell when droopy eyelids are a problem to be afraid of. First, note that if your eyelids are drooping from natural aging the both droop. When only a single eyelid droops, then its time to see a doctor. This could be a harbinger of a rare but serious condition called Horner’s Syndrome. This condition comes with a combination of droopy lids and different sized pupils. If you notice this combination, its advised you see a doctor immediately.

Droopy lids could also signify an auto-immune disease called Myasthenia Gravis which causes intense muscle weakness.

  1. Disappearing brows

This also happens with age. To distinguish when there is a problem, the style of thinning differs. When brows thin from the ends and unevenly too, it could be a sign of hyper or hypothyroidism. This condition dominates in women and might be coupled with early greying and total body hair loss. Menstrual irregularities, mood swings and weight problems could be other red flags of either of these conditions.

  1. Styes

    minimal stye/Apollo

A stye is a hard, painful, red bump on the lid popularly called Apollo in local parlance. The eye has oil glands that are borne in the lids, the follicles of the lashes. When these get clogged and filled up maybe due to an infection, then you have a stye. When styes do not heal up or dry up within a few weeks, then there might be a problem. Persistent styes or recurring styes could be a sign of a rare form of cancer. The symptoms are often coupled with loss of lashes around the said stye.

  1. Cholesterol Bumps

Small yellowish bumps sometimes are mistaken for styes and called Xanthelasma palpebra. They are a sign of excess cholesterol in the body and should be taken seriously. Even though this doesn’t indicate any serious threat to the eyes, a proper diagnosis will rule out coronary artery disease.

  1. Redness in the eyes

    red eyes
    An individual with red eyes

This is a common occurrence in the eyes and is a sign of trauma or sometimes stress. Called subconjunctival hemorrhage, red eyes often clear up within a few days or weeks. When coupled with itchy eyes, dryness and watery eyes, in both eyes, then you may be having allergies. Other signs include a runny nose, cough and a sinus congestion. Whether seasonal or product specific, allergies are easily treated with antihistamines, of which eyedrops exist.


  1. Yellow Eyes

    Eyes of a jaundiced person

This is most commonly a sign of jaundice in babies and newborns whose livers are not well-developed.

In adults, yellowing of the whites of the eyes points to a lot of terrible possibilities. Liver damage, hepatitis or cirrhosis. They could also be due to issues with the bile duct or gallbladder. In some cases, the yellowing is also evident in the skin but its most notable in the eye whites. If this is noticed in a person not currently being treated for liver diseases, then immediate medical attention should be sought.

  1. Bulging eyes

    Bulging eyes treated
    Before and after treatment pictures of a bulging eyed person

A sign of hyperthyroidism or Graves disease, which is best distinguished by the appearance of whites between the lids and the iris top. Bulging eyes, however, could be signs of a tumor or cancer. Most malignant tumors are visible in the eye or by the patient especially when they push against the eye. Breast and lung cancer tumors can sometimes be diagnosed by the tumors visible in the eyes.

There are a whole lot of other symptoms that the eyes give. These are the most notable and all signs should be noted early. The plethora of diagnosis possible from examining the eyes are simply astounding.  It is most important to pay attention to your eyes and figure out what they might be telling you.

Always remember to pay attention to and care for your eyes.


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