Ophthalmology: ocular manifestations of systemic disease
In the sixth and final article in our series, Sophia Pathai and Andrew McNaught highlight some diseases and drugs that can affect the eye
The saying that the eyes are the window to the soul is more than purely metaphorical; a variety of systemic disorders are associated with eye conditions that are either direct or indirect manifestations of the underlying disease process. On the ward, this scenario may present in two ways: the patient may be known to have a general condition such as diabetes, and is concurrently suffering from a related eye problem. Alternatively, and more rarely, a presenting eye problem may be the first indication of underlying systemic disease. It's worth being aware of ophthalmic conditions that are associated with generalised disorders as you will be alerted to look out for some of the potentially serious eye complications when looking after these patients on the general wards. And maybe occasionally, you will be able to dazzle your colleagues by diagnosing a systemic condition based on your examination of the eye.