11Things Eyes Say About Senior Health

1.A recurring stye:

Typically, a small, reddish bump on the eyelid (a stye), clears up in one to three months. If it doesn’t, or if it keeps coming back in the same spot, it could indicate a rare cancer. Particularly if eyelashes around the stye have fallen out. An ophthalmologist can examine the stye and determine if a biopsy is needed.

2.Bulging eyes:

Protruding eyes often indicate an overactive thyroid (Graves’ disease). Other symptoms include weight loss, blurry vision, fatigue and nervousness. Physicians can order a blood test to measure thyroid levels and decide on medication or surgery for treatment.  Senior Eye warning signs

3.Cholesterol spots(xanthomas):

Fatty deposits may build up under the eyelid of a person with high blood lipids. These can be warning signs of an underlying medical condition, such as diabetes, cancer or high cholesterol, according to Scott & White Healthcare. A doctor should examine the spots to identify their cause and determine what course of action to take.

4.A bump or brown spot:

Elderly people with fair skin are most at risk for basal-cell carcinoma. This common form of skin cancer can manifest itself as brown spots on the eyelid (often malignant tumors). Checking the eyelids regularly, along with the rest of the skin, for suspicious bumps or spots can help detect skin cancers early–which is critical to preventing them from spreading.

5.Cloudy eyes:

Cloudiness around the eyes is the surest sign of a cataract, a common senior eye health issue. According to the American Foundation for the Blind, cataracts are the leading cause of elderly vision loss in the United States. Eyeglasses, sunglasses and magnifying glasses can help. But having surgery to remove the cataract is most effective.

6.Blurred vision or tunnel vision:

Eye pain, nausea, halos around lights and blurred vision can all be warning signs of glaucoma. Advanced tunnel vision or loss of peripheral vision not only indicate glaucoma but could mean permanent damage has occurred. The Mayo Clinic recommends that seniors get screened for glaucoma every one to two years, in addition to a regular comprehensive eye exam.

7.Sudden vision loss:

When elderly vision loss or double vision happens suddenly, it’s frequently the sign of a stroke. Other signs include sudden weakness in the arms, legs or face, especially on one side of the body, and inability to formulate or understand speech. In this case, the person needs emergency medical care.

8.Yellowish hue in the whites of the eyes:

Jaundice frequently occurs in people with poor liver function. Conditions such as hepatitis and cirrhosis as well as gallbladder problems can cause the buildup of bilirubin, a brownish yellow substance produced when the liver breaks down red blood cells. Essentially, this shows up in the whites of the eyes. A doctor can determine the exact cause and prescribe proper treatment.

9.Dark,blurry spots in field of vision:

A leading cause of vision loss for people over age 60, age-related macular degeneration results when a small central portion of the retina (the macula) deteriorates. Signs include a dark, blurry spot in the center of a person’s vision as well as diminished or changed color perception. Although age-related macular degeneration has no cure, doctors can prescribe treatments to slow its progression and prevent severe vision loss.

10.Sudden watery eye/inability to close one eye:

The sudden inability to close one eye or control tears from it may indicate Bell’s palsy. A temporary paralysis on one side of the face, Bell’s palsy is not the result of a stroke. Usually, it comes on overnight and should be checked by a doctor immediately to rule out a more serious health condition. If the paralysis is diagnosed as Bell’s palsy, it’s expected to clear up within 10 days.

11.Beta amyloid protein in the retina:

According to researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, the amount of beta amyloid protein in the brain corresponds closely to the amount of the same protein in the retina of the eye, which could be an indicator of dementia or Alzheimer’s. Appropriate tests are being developed to track subtle eye flickers, known as “saccadic movements” that mark when people start to have cognitive changes. Retinal imaging tests are being worked on to help with Alzheimer’s markers.


It’s important to keep up with regular eye exams in addition to physical exams to ensure senior eye health. Plus, those eye exams may reveal signs of other health conditions before they become serious.