Most of us go through life with a series of minor aches and pains, particularly as we get older. For whatever reason – embarassment, money, busy schedule – we might put off going to see a doctor about our ailments. However, a minor physical difference could potentially be your body’s way of telling you that there is something more serious that needs to be dealt with.
Here are some symptoms to watch out for, and what they could be warning you of:
1. Dark circles under the eyes
Dark circles under your eyes can appear if you don’t get enough sleep. Doctors recommend that you sleep for no less than 7-8 hours every night. However, they can also be the result of something completely different, such as anemia. This is when the body doesn’t produce enough red blood cells, which makes the skin under the eyes go dark.
It should be noted that those with a darker skin tone can be more prone to getting these circles under their eyes – it’s not necessarily cause for concern.
2. Colour change of the fingertips
If you’ve noticed that your fingers often change color, you should be aware that there is a serious reason for this. This could be a sign that you have Reynaud’s Syndrome — a condition where low temperatures cause spasms in the blood vessels, leading to changes in the color of the skin on your fingers.
It could also be related to poor blood circulation, which is also something that you should get medical advice on.
3. Blurred vision
If your eyes often get tired and you’ve begun to notice that you occasionally find yourself unable to recognize people or read road signs from an ordinary distance, the chances are you’ve developed short-sightedness or astigmatism. You should visit an optician.
4. Blobs in your vision
These things pictured above take various forms: they might be dots or strips. They can appear suddenly and often in the presence of bright white light.
Everyone sees them now and again, but if you keep seeing them for more than a week, and they get more pronounced, then you should consult an optician. This might be an early indication of cataracts or other serious problems with your vision.
5. A loud stomach
Rumbling in your stomach is caused by the processes at work in your intestine. A lot of us get this when we’re very hungry, which is normal.
If this occurs only rarely, then there’s nothing to worry about. But if you find your stomach is making noises on a regular basis or if it’s accompanied by pain, then you should see a doctor straightaway.
6. Peeling skin
Peeling skin is an indication that your body lacks vitamins, particularly Vitamin C. An extreme case of this would be scurvy, a disease that sailors used to get when they went for long periods of time without vitamins. British sailors used to carry limes on board for this reason, which is how they came to be known as ‘limeys’.
Thankfully, we have better access to fruit and vitamins now, and a balanced diet can quickly return your skin to its normal condition.
If the peeling is accompanied by an itch, then you need to see a doctor without delay. It’s possible that you have a fungal infection.
7. Partial loss of smell
The reduction in the keenness of your sense of smell as you get older occurs as a consequence of damage to the nervous system.
If you’re relatively young and have begun to notice that you’re losing your sense of smell, you should go and see a doctor right away. It could be the result of either a strong cold or other viral infection, and it’s best to get it checked out.
8. Twitching eyelids
Prolonged twitching of the eyelids is often caused by stress, and can indicate that your eyes have been overworked. To overcome this, you should wash your eyes with cotton pads soaked in cold water. If this doesn’t work and the twitching continues, you should seek help from a neuropathologist. It’s possible that this could be a sign of a problem with your nervous system.
9. Ringing in the ears
Tinnitus is a feeling of constant ringing or noise in your ears. Many people try not to pay attention to this sensation, believing that it doesn’t threaten their health in any way.
It’s possible that it is tinnitus, but the most widespread cause of a ringing sound in your ears is the constant loud noise in certain kinds of work environment. Always make sure to protect your ears as much as possible.
I hope you’ve found this list helpful, but remember – I’m not a doctor! All of these symptoms should be checked with a medical professional.