WHAT DOES YOUR RETINA SAY ABOUT YOU
The retina is kind of a portal to your brain. According to new data, Alzheimer’s can show itself through some eye diseases that affect the retina.
There are so many people on Earth with dementia that they could start their own country. 46 million. In another 30 years, the population of that country will swell to 130 million.
It very much appears to be that glaucoma, macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy are related to the development of this problem.
Scientists monitored a number of elderly patients who did not have Alzheimer’s at the time of their first examination.
By the end of the study, however, 1 out of 5 developed dementia. It seems that those who have had these three eye diseases are at a 40-50% higher risk than others.
Primary care doctors should send such patients to be checked for dementia.
Another group of scientists confirmed this observation. A recent article in the Neurology journal cited a connection between retinal problems and a reduction in mental faculty.
Fortunately, there does not seem to be a relationship between cataracts and dementia: it is just an age-related opacification of the lens.
But with other eye diseases, which we have written about many times, they´re not solely associated with dementia.
The retina is the window to the brain. If problems begin there, they are a symptom of physiological abnormalities in the brain.
For example, the optic nerve ends in the retina, and if there is swelling in that area there might be a tumor in the brain.
The mechanism is simple. The tumor presses on the brain, creating intracranial pressure, which leads to swelling of the optic nerve. You can see this on the retina, especially if you have the best diagnostic equipment in the world, like at BEI. Not everywhere has such amazing equipment, though.
WHAT ELSE CAN THE RETINA TELL US?
Diabetes. If you have partial vision and the rest is blurred, it is likely you have diabetic retinopathy.
Or another variant – hypertensive retinopathy.
What else? Atherosclerosis also depletes the optic nerve, leading to a loss of vision. This is also seen in the retina.
If the patient has Graves disease, the ophthalmologist can tell just by looking at their face. This is an autoimmune disease that causes swelling and inflammation of the eyes.
As you can see, the retina is a more reliable method of diagnosis than palm-reading, or even reading internet forums.
Photo by jamie_fenn on Unsplash