Your eyes tell a story. They can reveal information about your cognitive health, your stress levels, and your overall health. In this article, we explore four things your eyes may reveal about your brain health. As you’ll discover, changes in your vision may be signs of neurological problems.
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Your eyes can see up to 200 degrees in all directions and recognize millions of colors. They are connected straight to your brain, and therefore can provide important clues about your cognitive function.
Vision accounts for almost 70% of your brain function and 80% of all sensory data goes through your eyes. According to the American Optometric Association (AOA), the eyes are often the first to display a problem in many neurological disorders.
Read on to learn what signs to look out for, as well as when it is time to contact your doctor.
Number 1.Peripheral vision is reduced.
We are using our peripheral vision when we see something out of the corner of our eye.
Peripheral vision is the ability to see things that are not directly in front of you. It’s important for tasks like driving, using a computer, and avoiding obstacles.
The central part of your eye focuses on what you’re looking at while the peripheral parts of your eyes take in information from all around it. This allows you to see everything close to or far away from what you’re focusing on.
When peripheral vision is decreased, it could be an early sign of Alzheimer’s disease. In people with Alzheimer’s disease, even if their eyes are physically healthy, their brains are not adequately processing visual information.
People living with Alzheimer’s disease often experience mild to severe vision impairment. This is because of the cognitive decline and memory loss that are common symptoms of this condition.
There are several factors that may contribute to vision decline in people with Alzheimer’s disease, including decreased blood flow to the eyes; nerve damage; confusion about where things are located in space; and difficulty focusing on objects because of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep deprivation.
Make an appointment to see your doctor as soon as possible if you notice changes in your peripheral vision or other eye abnormalities that concern you.
Number 2.Blurred vision.
A variety of factors may cause blurry vision, and a few of them are simple to fix. Maybe your desk is near an air conditioner blowing air into your eyes all day, or perhaps you need a new eyeglasses prescription. But other reasons for blurry vision are serious causes for concern.
Uncorrected refractive errors, binocular vision impairment, ocular and systemic illnesses, and fatal situations such as brain tumors may also cause blurred vision.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is another potential serious cause of blurred vision. This is a serious inflammatory condition that affects the brain and spinal cord.
MS causes damage to the myelin sheath, which is a protective layer surrounding nerve cells. This damage can cause vision problems, including blurry or double vision. There are several reasons MS might cause blurred vision.
First, MS may attack the optic nerves directly, leading to blindness in one or both eyes.
Second, blood flow to the eyes may be impaired because of inflammation and scarring in the eye area.
Third, damaged nerve cells may not be able to send clear signals to the eyeballs about where objects are located.
Number 3.Double vision.
Do you see stars when you accidentally hit your head? Jokes aside, visual problems are a common sign of a brain injury.
A brain injury can cause double vision because there is a disruption in the visual pathway. This disruption may be caused by damage to the eye itself, or to nerves that lead from the eye to the brain.
Double vision can also be caused by problems with your eyesight, such as refractive errors, or by abnormalities in how your eyes move and focus.
The most common type of brain injury that leads to double vision is called an optic neuritis. This condition occurs when inflammation and swelling inside the sheath surrounding nerve fibers in the eye damages them.
When you suffer any kind of brain trauma, no matter how insignificant it may seem, it’s vital to get examined by a doctor.
Number 4.Loss of vision.
A detached retina may cause a loss of vision, but so can a brain tumor.
A brain tumor can cause loss of vision because it may obstruct the pathways that carry visual information to the body’s periphery. This can lead to several problems, including decreased depth perception and difficulty reading. Sometimes, tumors may also affect a person’s eyesight directly, causing them to lose their sight completely.
Your eyes can tell us a lot about how healthy your brain is. When you notice changes in vision, visit an eye doctor for a complete checkup. That way, you can get the best treatment for any issues that may be brewing inside your head.
In case you are interested in taking preventative steps, we have also made a video highlighting 8 ways to improve your eyesight naturally! Watch it now.