Friday, May 25, 2012

The Eye is the Window to Your Body's Health

Rick C. learned that paying close attention to vision can actually not only indicate your eye’s health but it can be an indicator of your overall body health as well.  He came to our office because about a week ago he got some debris in his left eye, and after rubbing his eye, he noticed his vision was blurry only in his left eye.  He thought it would get better, so he waited about a week and it was still very blurry.  Additionally, he saw a small pink band in the center of his vision.  Hoping it was just a scratch on his eye, he wasn’t prepared to find out what the actual diagnosis was for his loss of vision in the left eye. 

Rick's normal right eye

Rick's left eye, showing some small blood spots at the edges of the swollen optic nerve (yellow circle)

Dr. Paull reviewed his retinal photos and immediately noticed small blood hemorrhages and a swollen optic nerve in his left eye only.  This would explain the pink spot – it was actually some blood floating in his eye that his brain interpreted as a spot in his vision!  Rick was only able to see 20/100, although at his exam the year before he had been able to see 20/20. After additional tests by a neuro-ophthalmologist the next day, Rick was diagnosed with “ischemic optic neuropathy”, which is essentially a stroke to the eye.  This occurs when the blood supply to the optic nerve is suddenly decreased and the eye loses vision.   The nerve started to swell, and this burst some of the blood vessels in the eye.  Rick started medication that helps supply blood again to his left eye and improve the possibility of regaining some vision.

Rick was very thankful that although he suffered a ‘stroke of the eye’, he did not suffer a stroke to another part of the brain or something worse, such as an infection or blood disease.  Although Rick is only 65 years old, he is making sure to carefully monitor his blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, and overall health.  Most bodily conditions can actually affect the small blood vessels in the eye, which is why the eye is the ‘window’ in to the body’s health!  Yearly eye exams are recommended to help not only check your vision, but your overall health as well.


  1. Thanks for the information. I didn't know that eye check ups were so important. But now I realize that it is important not only for my eyes, but my entire health too! After visiting a optometrist calgary I learned there is so much for an optometrist to learn and that they have to know so much. Thanks for the information!

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  3. I like the way you wrote and explain the article Sir! I have learned a lot from this, eyes are one of the most wonderful gift given to us, so we should take care of our eyes and so our health.

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  4. I didn't realize that the eyes could indicate so many different illnesses. I really need to go get my eyes checked out by an optometrist. You can never be too careful!

  5. I didn't realize that vision can be an indication of overall body health. This has me thinking that I should probably visit an optometrist more often.

    Susan Hirst |

  6. Yes, I Agree Eye is the Window to Your Body's Health and When you are moving to a new place, It is always the first option in your schedule of immediate must do's to find the best health service providers in the locality.

    All of us are aware of the importance of eyesight, In the upkeep of the quality of our lifestyle.

  7. Thanks for this information about visual health. My vision hasn't been as great as it could be, and I'm really hoping that it's just because of age. I have an appointment with my optometrist next week, and I've been reading up on everything I could find, hoping that it won't be too big of a deal when I go in.

  8. The specialists at the Lafayette Optometrist office efficiently screens every client’s eyes using advanced technology to rule out any emerging causes that can lead to eye diseases.