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Eye Health Center

Eye Quiz: What Are Your Eyes Telling You?

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Doctors can tell whether you have high cholesterol by looking at your eyes.

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Doctors can tell whether you have high cholesterol by looking at your eyes.

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Explanation: The eyes are more than the window to your soul; they can be the window to your health. In addition to diagnosing eye disease and conditions, doctors may be able to see signs of high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, and other medical conditions by examining your eyes. Damage to the blood vessels at the back of the eye can be the first physical sign of a health problem. At the end of your exam, your doctor will decide if further testing or follow up is necessary to protect your vision and overall health.

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If you have irritated eyes and blurry vision at work, you may have:

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If you have irritated eyes and blurry vision at work, you may have:

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Explanation: Eyestrain, red eyes, blurry vision, and irritation can all be signs of computer vision syndrome, which means your eyes are reacting to too much screen time. Take regular breaks to rest your eyes, install anti-glare filters, change the position of your computer monitor, and make sure you have adequate lighting. Lubricating eye drops and special computer glasses also might help.

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If your mom or dad needs glasses, you probably will, too.

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If your mom or dad needs glasses, you probably will, too.

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Explanation: If one or both of your parents is nearsighted or farsighted, there's an increased chance you will be, too. Two of the most common eye problems -- nearsightedness (myopia) and farsightedness (hyperopia) are usually inherited. People who are nearsighted have difficulty seeing things that are far away, but can see things up close clearly. People who are farsighted have trouble clearly seeing things that are near.

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How old are you when it gets hard to read a menu?

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How old are you when it gets hard to read a menu?

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Explanation: Most people start to have trouble reading menus and newspapers in their early to mid-40s. As the eye ages, the lens can't change shape enough to allow the eye to focus on close objects clearly. This is called presbyopia. Presbyopia is a kind of refractive error, along with myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism, a condition where the eye does not focus light evenly onto the retina.

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Sudden double vision may be a symptom of:

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Sudden double vision may be a symptom of:

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Explanation: Double vision can be caused by eye problems like cataract or brain problems like stroke. Doctors treating double vision ask a patient to close one eye. If a patient has double vision when looking with the left or right eye alone, the cause is an eye problem. If a patient's double vision goes away when one eye is closed but returns when both eyes are open, there is a misalignment of the two eyes that can be caused by conditions affecting the nerves and muscles that move the eyes.

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Most children are at least somewhat

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Most children are at least somewhat

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Explanation: Being really farsighted can cause problems reading or seeing things up close because light rays coming into the eye focus past the retina instead of on it. Most children are slightly farsighted but do not have blurry vision; their eyes can focus the light rays and put them on the retina. Signs of being excessively farsighted include eye strain, fatigue, headaches, and aching or burning eyes.

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Most people who are color blind can't see:

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Most people who are color blind can't see:

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Explanation: If you have color blindness, it doesn't mean you see the world in shades of gray. That happens only in a severe and rare form of color blindness. Most people with color blindness have trouble telling reds and greens apart. Color blindness is caused by a problem with the cells -- called cones -- on your retina that sense color. Your eyes have cone cells that help tell the difference between red, green, and blue.

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What increases your risk for developing cataracts?

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What increases your risk for developing cataracts?

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Explanation: If things are blurry, cloudy, or dim, or not as bright as they used to be, you could have a cataract. Cataract is a condition in which the lens of your eye turns cloudy. Some people with cataracts say it's like looking through a dirty car windshield. In the U.S., most people older than 60 have signs of cataracts. Risk factors include advanced age, high blood pressure, diabetes, and overexposure to sunlight.

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What is the leading cause of permanent vision loss in Americans over 50?

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What is the leading cause of permanent vision loss in Americans over 50?

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Explanation: More than 3.5 million people have early stages of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of severe, permanent vision loss in Americans over 50. AMD is a disease of the macula, the part of the retina that controls your central vision and allows you to thread a needle and read small print. Older people can develop AMD as part of aging and can be left with only peripheral vision.

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What causes yellow eyes?

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What causes yellow eyes?

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Explanation: Jaundice, yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes, can be a sign that something is wrong with your liver, gallbladder, or pancreas. Infections, cancer, and blood disorders are among the conditions that can cause jaundice. If your skin is yellow or orange, but the whites of your eyes are not, you might be eating too many foods high in an orange pigment called beta carotene, such as carrots.

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Why are people with diabetes more likely to have eye problems?

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Why are people with diabetes more likely to have eye problems?

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Explanation: High blood pressure and high blood sugar can damage the eye's retina, lens, and optic nerve. People with diabetes are at higher risk for glaucoma, cataracts, and diabetic retinopathy, damage to the eye's retina caused by long-term diabetes. Diabetic retinopathy can cause blood vessels in the retina to swell and leak fluids into the eye. It can also cause abnormal new blood vessels to grow.

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What is amblyopia?

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What is amblyopia?

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Explanation: People with amblyopia or lazy eye typically have worse vision in one of their eyes because that eye didn't develop normally during childhood. In kids, lazy eye can be treated by covering the stronger eye with a patch, forcing use of the weaker eye. Over time, the weaker eye becomes stronger, allowing vision to develop normally. Children with crossed eyes and amblyopia should be treated with a patch to improve the vision of the lazy eye before considering surgery. They may need corrective glasses, too.

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A temporary blind spot may be a sign of:

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A temporary blind spot may be a sign of:

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Explanation: Ocular migraine, also called retinal migraine, is a type of migraine headache that can cause vision loss or a temporary blind spot, typically in one eye. The vision problems are connected to the headache and typically last less than an hour.

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