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Carpe Diem: windows to the soul

Eye exam (KFOX14)

Though the eye may be considered the window to the soul, it turns out your eyes are also the windows to a lot of other things including sexual diseases and drug use.

Dr. Anna Ellsesser from Envision Eyecare in El Paso says even the untrained eye can learn to detect some signs of serious underlying health conditions and lifestyles.

"The tell tale sign is red eyes," Ellsesser said. "And we're not talking about the red eyes from abusing your contact lenses... which is what we usually see. We're talking about the goopy, watery and you walk in and you're like 'oh gosh'."

Sexual diseases that can be detected in the eye, by the untrained eye include chlamydia and syphilis.

Parents especially should learn to detect the signs of drug use. Dr. Ellsesser showed us how dilated pupils can be indicators or marijuana use or alcohol. Small pupils usually indicate opiod abuse such as morphines codeines, those kind of problems, Ellsesser said..

If you really want to be sneaky, an eye doctor can read the even deeper signs of drug use including cocaine which leaves a trail or residue in the retinal vessels.

Bottom line, even though secrets may not leave the lips, there is really nothing the eyes won't tell. And that's why Ellsesser really agreed to talk about these things... because your eyes can be saying things about underlying health issues that only a trained eye can see.

For instance, Elsesser said said about 80 percent of those with diabetes don't even know they have it.

Two out of five people are diagnosed with diabetes from their eye exam. An optometrist can even see a cholesterol problem that you yourself may not be aware of.

Elsesser said said 50 percent of kids don't get their eyes checked on a regular yearly basis, which she said can hinder their learning.

Adults who forgo an annual eye exam to save time or money, Elsesser said may be costing themselves both of those things in the long run.

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