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General Practice 2023

7 alterações in the eyes (and what they mean)

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7 alterações in the eyes (and what they mean)
7 alterações in the eyes (and what they mean)

Changes in the eyes can have different meanings and causes, but are usually caused by tiredness or a slight irritation of the eye lining, caused by dry air or dust, for example. This type of change lasts about 1 to 2 days and disappears on its own, without needing treatment.

However, when changes appear that last for more than 1 week or cause other symptoms such as eye pain, difficulty seeing or increased sensitivity to light, they may indicate the presence of a more serious problem, such as infection or of the liver.

So, when changes in the eyes are noticed, especially if there are other symptoms, it is recommended to consult an ophthalmologist to identify if there is any disease that needs to be treated.


1. Red eyes

Small arteries and veins in the eyes can become more visible in some situations, resulting in red eyes. Most of the time, this is related to eye irritation that can happen due to very dry air, dust, dry eye, lens wear and even minor trauma caused by the nail, for example. In these cases, there is usually a slight burning sensation or the appearance of a small red spot on the white of the eye, which disappears in a few minutes or hours, not requiring specific treatment.

Other symptoms such as excessive tearing or intense itching in both eyes may also occur and indicate an allergy.

On the other hand, when there is intense pain, increased sensitivity to light, intense redness in the eye, difficulty seeing or if an injury has occurred, red eyes can have more serious causes, such as acute glaucoma or infection. In such cases, it is important to consult an ophthalmologist as soon as possible to initiate appropriate treatment. Here's how to recognize an eye infection.

2. Eyes trembling

Trembling eye is usually a sign of tiredness or stress, due to an adrenaline rush. Typically, the problem causes a mild tremor that comes and goes and can last up to 2 or 3 days. Check out other situations that can cause eye twitching.

3. Yellow eyes

The presence of yellow or yellow eyes is usually a sign of jaundice, a change that happens due to the accumulation of bilirubin in the blood, which is a substance produced by the liver. When this happens, it is very common to suspect a disease in the liver or in the pathways that transport bile, such as hepatitis, cirrhosis or even cancer.

In addition to yellow eyes, symptoms commonly related to these diseases may be present, such as yellow skin, abdominal pain, dark urine, very pale stools, weight loss and even fever.

If you have yellow eyes, especially if they are associated with other symptoms, it is important to consult a general practitioner, gastroenterologist or hepatologist. See the symptoms that may indicate the presence of a liver problem.

4. Protruding eyes

Polling, glazed, or protruding eyes most often do not indicate an illness. However, they can be a sign of hyperthyroidism, when there is an excessive production of hormones by the thyroid. In this case, other symptoms such as palpitations, excessive sweating, weight loss despite adequate appetite, anxiety and tremor are also common.

In the presence of symptoms of hyperthyroidism along with bulging eyes, it is important to consult a general practitioner. Learn about other symptoms, causes and treatment of hyperthyroidism.

5. Eyes with gray or white ring

A gray or white ring may appear around the cornea in some people, where the eye color meets the white. This is more common in the elderly and is usually due to a buildup of blood-borne cholesterol and triglycerides.

This change is called arc senile or corneal halo and, when present in people under 50 years of age, it may be related to an increased risk of heart and vessel diseases, such as heart attack and stroke. Arch senile does not affect vision and usually occurs without symptoms, but it is recommended that people in this age group with this condition consult a doctor, as blood tests may be required to assess cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

Thus, in some cases, treating high cholesterol with dietary changes and medications may be necessary. Check out what to do to lower high cholesterol.

6. Eye with white cloud

The presence of a white cloud in the eye, or in the vision, is more common in the elderly and may be related to the development of cataract, which is when the lens of the eye ages and loses its transparency, which starts to harm the vision. However, it can also occur in young people and indicate other diseases such as decompensated diabetes or even tumors.

The ideal is always to consult an ophthalmologist to confirm the cause and start the most appropriate treatment.

7. Drooping eyelids

Lids drooping is common to occur with aging, trauma or prolonged use of contact lenses. However, sometimes it can indicate some disease, and it can even be present since birth.

Neurological conditions such as myasthenia gravis can also present with symptoms such as drooping eyelids, which are usually worse at the end of the day or after spending a few moments looking up. However, there are other symptoms that usually occur in these situations, such as double vision, difficulty climbing stairs, walking or exerting themselves, tiredness, asymmetries in the face and difficulty swallowing or breathing. Therefore, if the eyelid droops and one or both eyes, especially if associated with other symptoms, it is important to consult a neurologist.

However, some infectious skin diseases, allergic reactions and tumors can also be responsible for causing the eyelid to droop, which usually only occurs on one side. So, especially when there is swelling, fever, redness or pain, it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible.

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