Common Health Conditions That Can Affect Your Eyes  

You know that it’s important to see the eye doctor regularly — but you may be surprised to learn that your primary care provider can also give insight on taking care of your vision. Many common health conditions can affect the eyes. Here, we’ll take a look at some common health issues that can cause vision problems.

High Blood Pressure

The blood vessels that provide blood to the eyes are delicate and are easily damaged by high blood pressure. If you have eye blood pressure, it’s important that you work closely with your doctor to ensure that your diet, lifestyle, and medications are working together to keep the issue under control. Failure to do so can result in irreversible vision problems.

Diabetes

Some of the eye problems related to diabetes are temporary, and resolve once blood sugar levels are under control. Other issues do not resolve as easily. Uncontrolled diabetes can result in damage to the blood vessels around the eyes. Over time, this can lead to blindness. If you have diabetes, it’s important that you work closely with your primary care provider to control the disease and visit your eye doctor regularly to ensure that your vision is healthy.

Rosacea

Most people think of rosacea as a disease that only affects the skin, but it commonly affects the eyes as well. More than 50% of people who live with rosacea experience eye conditions as a result of the disease. Dry, itchy eyes are common, as is a feeling of grittiness in the eyes. The eyes may also become sensitive to light, and the eyelids may become swollen. It’s important to see an eye doctor right away when rosacea begins to affect the eyes. If rosacea-related eye problems are left untreated, blindness may eventually occur.

Sickle Cell Disease

This hereditary disease results in sickle-shaped red blood cells and can have complications that affect the eyes. Some people with sickle cell disease develop blockages in the blood vessels. This can cause retinal damage that may eventually result in blindness. Thankfully, this condition may be treatable.

Liver Disease

You may already know that a discoloration of the whites of the eyes, known as jaundice, can indicate a liver issue. In addition to jaundice, other liver issues can also cause vision problems. Itchy eyes, dry eyes, small masses of fat on the eyelids can all be related to liver issues. Lens and cornea problems can also be the result of untreated liver problems.