Your Eyes: The Windows to Your Soul (and Heart)
A love interest can often see what’s in your heart by looking deep into your eyes. But as for your ophthalmologist, optometrist, and cardiologist, that’s not just a figure of speech.
Your eyes can tell the tale about what’s happening in and around your heart, making the relationship between your eye doctor and your heart doctor one that should not be taken for granted.
What Your Eyes Say About Your Heart
Your eyes can show signs of several types of heart diseases, cardiovascular problems, or other health concerns, including high blood pressure, blocked arteries, diabetes, and eye stroke.
High Blood Pressure, Blood Clots, and Blocked Arteries
Eye doctors recognize high blood pressure based on the size of the retinal arteries in relation to the veins. High blood pressure can damage the main blood supply to the eyes, leading to bleeding in the eye, blurred vision, swelling, blood clots, damage to the nerve, and even loss of vision.
Eye care specialists may also be able to see a blood clot, fatty deposit, or other object lodged in a vein or artery. In some cases, blockages can lead to an “eye stroke,” more scientifically known as retinal artery occlusion.
Psychological Factors and Your Eyes
Some people may make an appointment with an eye doctor because they feel an eye twitching. Among other causes, eye twitching may be caused by stress. Stress, in turn, can lead to various cardiovascular problems.
Diabetic Eye Disease
Diabetes and heart health are related in several ways, and uncontrolled diabetes can damage your eyesight.
Eye diseases related to diabetes include cataracts, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy, which is characterized by blurry vision, floating spots in your vision, and possibly blindness in severe cases.
Known as arcus senilis, a white or gray ring around your iris can be a relatively harmless, common sign of aging. If you have a family history of high cholesterol you are more likely to have arcus senilis.
However, this symptom in individuals younger than 45 has been correlated with high cholesterol levels. High levels of bad cholesterol can clog your arteries, leading to cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, or strokes.
See a Cardiologist Next
If your eye doctor has recognized issues that may be related to heart disease, the next step is to make an appointment with a cardiologist to further explore the issue. Doing so can help protect both your eyes and your heart from further damage.
To schedule an appointment with a Cardiology Associates of Michigan heart doctor, call one of our locations in Shelby Township, East China, Roseville, or Macomb Township.