It is amazing how your eye exam can reveal a lot about your overall health. It is not only focused on your eye health rather, it can even detect early signs of diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and can even save your life!
Eye exams tell a lot farther than just your vision including early detection and treatment of serious health conditions such as multiple sclerosis and thyroid disease.
Here are 5 things your eye exam can show you about your general health:
Specks of blood in the back of your eye may indicate diabetic retinopathy which is the prevailing cause of blindness in the USA. Eye pain, floaters, blurry vision, and other symptoms associated with this condition may hardly be noticeable until the condition has progressed. This makes it more important to have regular eye exams.
In fortunate cases, your eye doctor may be able to spot signs of diabetic retinopathy before you are even diagnosed with diabetes, giving you a great head start to change lifestyle and start treatment.
2. High blood pressure
Blood vessel damage such as narrowing, swelling, hardening, and leaking are some of the telling signs of high blood pressure.
This is not something to take lightly. Aside from being a risk factor for stroke, heart attack, and heart failure, hypertension can also take a toll on your vision with blood vessel rupture.
3. High cholesterol
As cholesterol builds up in the eyes, a bluish-white or gray ring can form around the iris. Although this is a common sign of aging called arcus senilis, this may also indicate high cholesterol levels in the blood.
If you are under 40, it is important to have your blood tested for cholesterol levels if you notice any developing arcus senilis in your eyes.
Microscopic blood clots at the back of the eye or any damage in the blood vessel damage could mean that you are at high risk for stroke. There are several tests that can be performed to prevent stroke following your routine eye exam.
5. Thyroid disease
Hyperthyroidism is associated with Graves’ disease which makes the eyes red, itchy, and in progressed cases, swell and bulge. Any protrusion or evidence of thyroid issue noticed on your eye exam will likely be referred to a vision specialist for further examination.
Another serious condition that can be detected through an eye exam is cancer. Tumors can cause optic nerves to swell, change the eye shape, and affect vision, while bloody retinas can indicate leukemia.
If your eye color suddenly changed, it could be a sign of ocular melanoma. Your doctor will have to do a thorough check of the skin surrounding your eyes and look for dark spots, freckles, and other potential issues.