You probably could expand the old saying that the eyes are the windows to the soul to include the eyes being a barometer of your health. When you are in poor health, your eyes may show this. At least, that is what some medical doctors believe to be true in certain cases, according to MayoClinic.com.
Look Into My Eyes
It may be possible to detect health conditions, including high cholesterol, just by looking into your eyes–a practice called iridology. Mostly practiced in Europe, iridology is being brought introduced into the United States by holistic practitioners. Iridology is not a diagnostic tool. In some instances, however, it may reveal problems.
A white, thick ring around the outside of your iris is what iridologists call a “cholesterol ring.” If you have this, you should have your cholesterol checked by your doctor. This ring could also be a grayish color, says Dr. Thomas Behrenbeck, writing for MayoClinic.com.
Iridology is Controversial
Many medical doctors discount iridology as nonsense. Dr. Stephen Barrett, writing for the Quackwatch website, says that the belief that a person’s health can be diagnosed from the way the eye appears is invalid. An incorrect diagnosis can steer people away from necessary medical care, can cause people to waste money on nonexistent conditions and can frighten people needlessly, Barrett points out.
Check Your Cholesterol
If your cholesterol levels are high enough to show up as a ring in your eye, your cholesterol may be severely high. High cholesterol showing up in the eye is uncommon and usually only happens in severe cases of high cholesterol or high triglycerides that are passed down through families, points out Behrenbeck. If your cholesterol ring is because of high cholesterol, your doctor will treat you to control your levels. A cholesterol ring will not affect your vision, but if the ring is because of cholesterol, it will go away when you start treatment.
The visible ring or arc in the eye usually occurs in young adults. If you are older than 50, having this type of ring around your eye could just be from aging, according to MayoClinic.com. If you are younger, however, it could be a sign of a cholesterol or triglyceride problem.
Control Your Cholesterol
If you do have high cholesterol, you may be able to manage it by eating better, losing weight and exercising, according to WebMD. Your doctor may also prescribe a cholesterol medicine. Be patient; results may not be immediate. Even if your doctor prescribes cholesterol medication, you must also eliminate all trans fats from your diet and most saturated fat. Heed the words of cardiologist Dr. Adolph Hutter, of Massachusetts General Hospital, who said that medicines won’t cancel out fondue and french fries.
- closeup image by Angie Lingnau from Fotolia.com