“The eyes are the window to the soul,” so the saying goes.
At the very least, they are the windows to your overall health.
Many times vision loss due to an eye condition may be a signal of a more
serious health problem. Regular
comprehensive eye exams are as important for protecting your vision as they are for detecting
other health conditions.
What health conditions can an eye exam detect?
Diabetes: If your eye doctor looks into your eyes and sees blood, it could be because
the blood vessels are weak and leaking, which may point to diabetes. Diabetic
retinopathy can cause the breakdown of blood vessels in the eyes, which
can eventually lead to impaired vision or even blindness.
High blood pressure: If not diabetes, blood in the eyes can also be a symptom of high blood pressure.
Vasculitis: Inflammation in the blood vessels is often caused by vasculitis. This condition
can affect the eyes as well. During a dilated eye exam, your doctor can
check for any swelling in the eye vessels that might be caused by vasculitis.
Brain tumor: Partial vision loss or poor peripheral vision could be caused by swelling
in the optic nerve, which may be an indicator of a serious health condition,
such as a tumor on the brain.
In addition to various health conditions affecting other parts of your
body, regular comprehensive eye exams are key in detecting eye diseases
in their early stages. Your eye doctor and your primary care doctor can
work together to detect health problems, with hopes of an early diagnosis
to improve chances of a good prognosis.
Know your family’s health history when seeing your primary care physician
and your eye doctor. If your eye doctor knows diabetes or high blood pressure
runs in your family (or if you have other risk factors for these diseases),
he or she will be on alert for signs of these health conditions during
your eye exam.
Bottom line: Don’t wait until you notice serious changes in your
vision to see your eye doctor. Routine eye exams, including eye dilation,
should be part of your overall preventative healthcare.
If you haven’t seen your eye doctor in more than a year,
contact Key-Whitman today to schedule a comprehensive