10 Things Your Eyes Are Trying to Tell You

You’ve heard that eyes are the window to your soul, but they may reveal health problems too.

10 Things Your Eyes Are Trying to Tell You

By Diana Kelly Levey

When an ophthalmologist or optometrist looks into your eyes, they can identify eye health issues, like glaucoma and cataracts, but they might also be able to tell if your diet isn’t healthy, if you have an immune disorder, as well as if your diabetes symptoms are being managed properly. Read on to learn about the full scope of health issues your eyes may be trying to let you in on so you can prevent or treat any potential conditions.


More: 7 Easy Ways to Improve Your Eyesight

You May Be Taking Too Much Aspirin

If you’ve been a long-time aspirin user, it could be contributing to age-related macular (AMD) degeneration according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Researchers tracked the aspirin use and eye health of nearly 5,000 adults for over two decades and found that regular aspirin user for 10 years was associated with a small but statistically significant increase in the risk of incident AMD.

Your Parent Has Dementia: What to Talk to Their Doctor About

Make sure all their doctors are aware of all the medications she is taking.

Q: My mom is 94 and has dementia. She is taking a whole medicine cabinet-full of medications and I think they actually make her fuzzier. How should I talk to her various doctors about what she is taking and if she can get off some of the meds? — Gary R., Denver, Colorado

A: Many dementia patients are taking what docs call a "polypharmacy" — three or more medications that affect their central nervous system. And we really don't know how that mixture truly affects each individual person.

A new study in JAMA Network that looked at more than 1 million Medicare patients found almost 14% of them were taking a potentially harmful mix of antidepressants, antipsychotics, antiepileptics, benzodiazepines such as Valium and Ativan, nonbenzodiazepine benzodiazepine receptor agonist hypnotics such as Ambien or Sonata, and opioids. And almost a third of those folks were taking five or more such medications. The most common medication combination included an antidepressant, an antiepileptic, and an antipsychotic. Gabapentin was the most common medication — often for off-label uses, such as to ease chronic pain or treat psychiatric disorders, according to the researchers from the University of Michigan.

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