How Your Overall Health Can Affect Your Eyes

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Durrie Vision Considers Lots of Information to Determine Your Candidacy for Laser Vision Correction in Kansas City

You take good care of your eyes, but did you know that certain medical conditions can lead to vision loss or other eye symptoms?

Seeking prompt medical attention for these conditions can prevent eye damage – and having one doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t improve your eyesight with laser vision correction, like SBK LASIK surgery, refractive lens exchange, or refractive cataract surgery.

The refractive eye surgeons and team at Durrie Vision can determine your candidacy even if you live with one of the following medical conditions.

A Variety of Autoimmune Conditions

There are a vast number of autoimmune diseases that can affect your vision; often your eyes are the first to show symptoms.

Red, itchy eyes; frequent dry eyes; sensitivity to light; changes in vision quality; and vision loss are all symptoms of autoimmune conditions.

Certain conditions also make your eyes more prone to uveitis or iritis, an inflammation of the iris, the colored part of your eye, such as ankylosing spondylitis or lupus.

If you have an autoimmune condition, you still may be eligible for laser vision correction; you’ll need to speak with both your rheumatologist and one of our refractive eye surgeons to learn more.


Numerous population-based studies support an association between obesity and a higher risk of developing cataracts. Glaucoma, maculopathy, and diabetic retinopathy are also common. However, the formation of cataracts is almost inevitable in aging adults, regardless of health. In fact, by age 65, more than 90 percent of Americans will have cataracts, which are correctable with refractive cataract surgery.

Type 2 Diabetes

Diabetic retinopathy, an effect of Type 2 diabetes can cause the blood vessels to leak into the retina, resulting in vision loss. Diabetics also are at a higher risk of developing glaucoma.

Proper management of diabetes, including stabilizing your blood sugar and lowering your A1C, reduce your risk of visual changes associated with your condition.

High Blood Pressure

Also called hypertension, high blood pressure is linked to medical conditions that can affect eye health, including heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Over time, excessively high blood pressure can damage the blood vessels in your eyes.

Genetics can play a role in developing hypertension, but you can also lower your risk by eating well and exercising regularly. Talk to your physician before making changes to your lifestyle.

Lyme Disease

A tick-borne illness common in our area, lyme disease can cause conjunctivitis, an eye infection that can lead to vision loss if left untreated.

Uveitis, the inflammation of the middle of the eye; optic nerve inflammation; and blood vessel inflammation of the retinas can also occur and eventually cause vision loss.

Decrease your chances of acquiring lyme disease by wearing long pants, tall socks, and closed-toe shoes when outside in tick-infested areas, and carefully check your body for any hitchhikers when you come indoors. Quickly and carefully remove any ticks that may have attached themselves to your skin, or visit a doctor who can help you.


This viral infection that causes a blistery rash can affect your eyes if it spreads to your face. You could experience eye pain, swollen eyelids, and inflammation around your eyes.

If you’ve had chicken pox, you’re more likely to develop shingles. Adults may be eligible for a shingles vaccination.

Liver Disease

Cirrhosis of the liver can cause dry, itchy eyes, or fat deposits on your eyelids. If the condition is untreated, it may eventually lead to corneal damage and lens damage.


A poor diet can affect every bodily system. A lack of certain vitamins and minerals can increase your risk of developing macular degeneration and other age-related vision conditions. Eating a balanced diet and making smart food choices are important to protect your overall health.

Sickle Cell Disease

Sickle cell disease causes abnormally-shaped blood cells, which can damage blood vessels in the eyes. Without timely treatment, it can cause blindness.

Because it is an inherited disorder, there is little you can do to prevent it. However, your doctor can help you manage your symptoms.


Rosacea is so much more than facial redness. It also can result in dry, itchy eyes, or a burning sensation in your eyes. Rosacea can also cause your eyelids to swell and increase your sensitivity to light.

You Could Still Be a Candidate for Laser Vision Correction

These medical conditions have been shown to affect your eyes. However, our extensive Advanced Ocular Analysis lets us determine candidacy for laser vision correction using scientific methods and data analysis. Even if you have been diagnosed with a medical condition that can affect your eyes, you may still be eligible for refractive eye surgery.

Our Advanced Ocular Analysis creates a map of your eyes and provides a clear picture of your overall eye health. Our surgeons then use this extensive information, including your refractive errors, to determine which laser vision correction procedure is right for you.

Find Out If You’re Eligible for SBK LASIK Surgery or Other Refractive Procedures

Schedule a free consultation today to learn more, or take our self-candidacy assessment to learn which laser vision correction procedures you may be eligible for.