Community Blog

Could Eyes Predict Physical Health?

By Ketan Shah

Many people think that when they go to the eye doctor, the only health conditions the ophthalmologist can detect are those related to the eye. The truth is that they can also detect other health problems, including diabetes and high blood pressure. Now researchers are saying that the color and shape of a person’s eyes could also predict certain health conditions. So, what can your senior parent’s eyes tell doctors about their health? Below are several conditions that the eyes may be able to predict.

Grave’s Disease
Grave’s disease, a condition in which the thyroid is too active, may be indicated by eyes that appear to bulge out. People with Grave’s disease may also experience a fast heartbeat, weight loss, a nervous feeling, or an irregular pulse.

Hearing Loss
Although simply looking at someone’s eyes cannot tell you how their hearing is, research shows that people who have darker colored eyes are less likely to have hearing loss than people with blue eyes. Researchers believe this is because people with brown eyes have more melanin, which might also protect the ears in noisy situations.

Cancer of the Eye
People who have light colored eyes (blue, green, or grey), are more likely to get a certain kind of eye cancer than those who have brown eyes. The cancer, uveal melanoma, is rare, though. Only 2,500 Americans get it each year.

High Cholesterol or Triglycerides
Sometimes people have a grey ring around their cornea. This ring, called arcus senilis, may be an indication of high cholesterol or high triglycerides. An increase in either of these levels puts a person at greater risk for stroke and heart attack. If the ophthalmologist notices this ring in your aging family member, make an appointment with their doctor to have their blood lipids checked.

High Blood Pressure
An eye doctor can see signs of high blood pressure by looking at the blood vessels in a person’s retina. If the blood vessels appear kinked or dented, this is an indication of hypertension.

Experts recommend that all adults have a comprehensive eye exam to develop a baseline by age 40. Once a person reaches age 65, they should have an eye exam every one to two years, depending on the recommendations of their eye doctor. If your aging family member needs to see an eye doctor, a senior care provider can drive them to the appointment and sit with them while they wait. If the older adult should be diagnosed with a condition like high blood pressure, the senior care provider can assist by reminding the person to take medications and by taking them to follow-up appointments.


If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring senior care in Los Altos, CA, please contact the caring staff at Home Helpers today (408) 259-5930.