Eye doctors are trained to detect a wide range of ocular problems during a comprehensive eye exam. But did you know that they can often diagnose general health conditions just by examining your eyes?
That’s yet another reason to go for regular eye exams, even if your eyesight is perfect.
Here are 5 health problems that your eye doctor may find while performing a thorough eye exam.
During an eye exam, your eye doctor may notice damaged blood vessels at the back of your eye. This is common among diabetic patients, in a condition called diabetic retinopathy.
In its early stages, diabetic retinopathy doesn't usually cause noticeable symptoms, so you may not know you have it.
The earlier it's diagnosed and managed, the better your chances of preserving your eyesight.
High Blood Pressure
Elevated blood pressure can cause the blood vessels at the back of your eye to change shape or leak. These changes tell your eye doctor that you may be suffering from high blood pressure. Once your blood pressure is under control, the risks of other eye diseases such as macular degeneration, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy are reduced.
Patients with high cholesterol sometimes develop a yellow or bluish ring around their cornea. High cholesterol levels may also be detected if deposits are found in the blood vessels in the retina.
In certain cases, an eye doctor may be able to tell whether a person is at high risk of having a stroke or other vascular incident caused by high cholesterol, simply by looking at their eyes.
Some forms of cancer either originate in the eye or manifest in or near the eye.
- Common skin cancers may be present on the outer surfaces of the eye or the eyelids.
- Leukemia or lymphoma can cause changes to the interior of the eye.
- Breast cancer and other bodily cancers can metastasize and spread to the eye.
If your eyeballs are bulging or protruding from eyelids that seem to be retracting, your eye doctor will suspect an overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism), which is often caused by Grave’s Disease. This autoimmune condition affects the muscles and tissues around the eye, and symptoms may also include dry eyes, blurry vision or vision loss.
Several medical conditions, including those mentioned above, may begin with no discernible symptoms. Left undiagnosed or untreated, they can quickly become serious or even life-threatening. The earlier a condition is discovered, the better the outcome.
Make sure to schedule a comprehensive eye exam with Kosnoski Eye Care in one of our 5 locations, even if you’re not experiencing any obvious vision problems. Eye exams are a simple yet important way to protect your eye and general health.
- A: It’s important to have regular eye exams every one or two years, or as recommended by your eye doctor. Children should also have regular eye exams so that any vision-related problems are detected early on.
- A: During an eye exam, your eye doctor can detect a refractive error like nearsightedness or farsightedness, and may also be able to identify possible signs of diabetes, high blood pressure, multiple sclerosis, brain tumors, stroke, leukemia, and several other conditions.
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