5 non-eye diseases that an ophthalmologist can detect in you

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What for? Dmitry Atarshchikov will tell about this: he is not only an ophthalmologist, but also an endocrinologist, so he is used to noting common symptoms in unrelated diseases.

At a scheduled examination, the ophthalmologist checks not only visual acuity, but also the fundus, and the condition of the lens and retina. As a result, this may suddenly appear:

Type 2 diabetes

Retinal damage is one of the first complications of diabetes. The insidiousness of this disease is that for a long time it does not lead to a change in visual acuity. As a rule, deterioration occurs abruptly, this does not occur in the initial stages of the disease.

It is difficult to assume that a woman may not know that she already has diabetes, and discovers this disease by chance at an appointment with an ophthalmologist. But this really happens if the patient neglects regular examinations and does not donate blood for biochemistry or sugar. If an ophthalmologist notices characteristic changes in the vessels of the retina, he will definitely refer the patient for a consultation with an endocrinologist.

Diffuse toxic goiter, or Graves’ disease

An autoimmune thyroid disease is often detected not by an endocrinologist, but by an ophthalmologist, because in 50% of cases Graves’ disease is accompanied by eye damage – endocrine ophthalmopathy. Antibodies of the immune system bind to the cells of the thyroid gland and cause it to produce a large amount of hormones. These same antibodies attack the soft tissues of the orbit (muscle and fat), causing inflammation. It is manifested by such symptoms characteristic of endocrine ophthalmopathy as swelling of the eyelids, soreness behind the eye, expansion of the palpebral fissures, and “rolling out” of the eyeballs forward. These symptoms are blurred and look like inflammatory diseases of the eyes, many generally perceive them as some kind of cosmetic defect and connect a plastic surgeon, rather than an endocrinologist or ophthalmologist, to solving problems. All this leads to the fact that a person gets an appointment with the right doctor already with an advanced form of the disease. This reduces the effectiveness of therapy. Treatment of endocrine ophthalmopathy caused by Graves’ disease is always carried out in parallel with the correction of the level of thyroid hormones. In 30% of cases, it is possible to normalize thyroid function with the help of conservative therapy. The remaining 70% have to resort to surgical treatment or radioactive iodine therapy.


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First, the doctor discovers demodicosis, a skin disease. Demodex mite, the causative agent of demodicosis, lives on human skin all the time. It happens that under the influence of any factors, it begins to actively multiply, which leads to specific symptoms: itching, redness of the eyelids, thickening of the ciliary edge. Most often, the disease is diagnosed by an ophthalmologist. A specific analysis is a microscopic examination of eyelashes. Under a microscope, the doctor should see parts of the skin mite. The ophthalmologist may prescribe local treatment – various ointments and drops, but he also recommends visiting a gastroenterologist. The fact is that gastritis and pancreatitis make you especially vulnerable to demodex. That is why treatment should be multifactorial.

Start of menopause

A decrease in the synthesis of estrogens in a woman leads to a lack of natural moisture everywhere – in the eyes as well. The so-called dry eye syndrome develops. Its symptoms are rapid blinking, pain and a feeling of sand in the eyes. The timing of the onset of menopause in women is very individual. It happens that it begins in 40-45 years. In this case, the “dry manhole” syndrome may be one of its first manifestations. There are studies that indicate that due to the lack of protein foods (in particular, due to the passion for vegetarianism), menopause may occur at an earlier date.


It would seem that it is impossible not to notice the increase in pressure in oneself. But some succeed. It all depends on the individual characteristics of the person. Women quite often let everything take its course, brushing aside the obvious symptoms of trouble, simply do not go to the doctor. The retina of the eye is the only place where we can see the vessels: veins and arteries. According to their change, the ophthalmologist may assume that the patient’s blood pressure rises regularly. Even if you feel great, still buy a blood pressure monitor and measure this indicator for five days in the morning and evening. Only then can it be assessed whether the pressure is within normal limits. If there are clear signs of hypertension, a consultation with a cardiologist will be required.

Well, in the end, the ophthalmologist can detect vision problems and prescribe glasses for you. And it will be a completely different story:

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