February 6, 2023 | By Haley Wilson | News & Events
The consequences of liver disease go beyond damage to the liver. Many serious complications may arise, including visual impairment. Learn more in our latest blog about the effects the liver can have on eyesight and why liver health is essential to our overall health.
The relationship between the eyes and the liver is fascinating. While many remain unaware, the two vital organs are interconnected. When we think of the liver, we naturally associate it with the functions we’ve come to expect it to execute, such as that of digestion. But did you know that the liver actually controls the blood flow that reaches the eyes? Every time you blink or move your eyes, your liver sends a message to increase blood flow and circulation to this delicate organ. The partnership between our eyes and our livers shows that we must prioritize both organs equally to function health-wise optimally.
Living with liver disease can present physical and mental health challenges, including impaired eyesight. One of the main functions of the liver is to remove harmful toxins throughout the body. The healthier your liver is, the better it can perform this function. When damaged, the liver may fail to perform accordingly, thus hindering the circulation of blood throughout the body. It also manufactures chemicals essential for normal vision, such as the pigment melanin. It plays a part in metabolizing certain nutrients like vitamins A, D, E, and K that help protect the eyes against the disease. As a result, cloudy eyes, blind spots, or even potential blindness can occur if left untreated.
Additionally, mitochondrial dysfunction is linked to cirrhosis and chronic hepatitis, which can impact an individual’s eyesight, especially clarity and color perception. Many liver diseases, such as involve abnormal levels of copper that deposit in the eyes and begin forming cataracts and further decreasing vision as it progresses. However, this specific loss of sight due to liver disease is reversible with treatment if detected early enough. It’s important to note that even mild forms of liver disease have been linked to decreased vision, primarily night vision, as well as the reduced ability to distinguish shapes and colors. Fortunately, through regular monitoring and treatments, you can minimize further vision impairment and possibly improve current symptoms.
Our liver is no one-trick pony. It delivers many tasks daily; it supports a healthy immune system, helps regulate hormones, and, as we’ve learned, even contributes largely to our eye health. Ensuring your body receives the proper nutrients is critical – especially vitamins. For instance, those with liver disease, whether it be acute or chronic, may run into problems if the appropriate amount of vitamins isn’t consumed to support eye health. Vitamin A helps provide essential fatty oils for comfortable vision in low-light conditions. At the same time, Vitamin C supports the proper formation of connective tissue within the eyes. Without either of these vital nutrients, an individual may begin to experience the effects on their vision. Furthermore, research has shown that a healthy liver improves general well-being – better sleep, energy levels, and concentration. Taking care of our liver is essential for our overall health and vision – don’t look past it!Be proactive about your health and keep an eye on your liver by scheduling a FREE liver scan today! For more information about what Arizona Liver Health can do for you, give us a ring at one of our three locations.
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