Eyes are the window to the soul.. and your overall health as well! Having a regular eye exam has helped people prevent countless diseases that most people don’t even know have any connection with the eyes: diabetes, arthritis, cancer, etc. The eyes really do tell all and often signal a problem in its early stages before it would be detectable anywhere else. Your eye doctor can find warning signs long before your family doctor can discern a problem. For this reason, it is vitally important for everyone to have a regular eye exam.
Most people are unaware of the benefits of a routine eye exam. According to a weather.com article, there are 13 general health problems that can be detected in their early stages in the eyes. Keep in mind that this list is by no means comprehensive.
Often we talk about the importance of wearing sunglasses. The reason this is so highly stressed is because just like your skin, your eyes are vulnerable to ultraviolet rays. About 5-7% of the population will get a freckle at the back of their eye. Freckles in the eyes need to be monitored just like freckles on the skin to ensure that they don’t grow or change shape. For this reason, both a yearly eye exam and wearing sunglasses are very important.
An eye doctor can detect diabetes before your doctor! Small specks of blood in the back of the eye indicate an unhealthy blood sugar level, which is a symptom and cause of diabetes.
Often times when people come to the eye doctor complaining of dry or burning eyes, it is an early sign of rheumatoid arthritis. Other symptoms include dry mouth and chronic joint pain. Coming in for a yearly eye exam could help you catch arthritis early and take steps to alleviate the pain.
The most common STD that eye doctors are able to detect is syphilis. People with undetected syphilis will often have pupils that are slightly different sizes. This disease is on the rise according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Breast cancer patients who are on the drug Plaquenil come in for an eye exam every 6 to 9 months because the back of the eyes are the first indicators of drug toxicity.
Sometimes eye doctors can detect blood vessel blockages in the back of the eye, which pose a high stroke risk. Especially for those who are older, a regular vision exam can help detect a stroke before it happens.
Thinning eyelashes, which may be overlooked by some people as a sign of aging, can signify thyroid disease or skin conditions such as certain types of cancer and rosacea. In people with hyperthyroidism, we often see eyelids retracting and bulging eyes.
High Blood Pressure
Arteriovenous nicking at the back of the eye almost always signifies high blood pressure. Eye doctors can refer these patients to a regular doctor who will help them to make lifestyle changes and take the proper steps to prevent heart disease. Bulged veins in the eyes are another sign of high blood pressure.
Vitamin A Deficiency
Vitamin A deficiency is commonly seen in patients who have had a weight-loss surgery. Doctors notice plaque on the surface of the eye indicating this problem.
Recurring red eye alerts doctors to inflammation which is linked to many different diseases, including Crohn’s disease and Lyme disease.
We hope that this article helped you to realize all of the health problems that can be detected in the eyes and the importance of a regular eye exam! If it has been awhile since you’ve had a vision exam, schedule an appointment with us online today and make your overall health a priority! Taking action now will allow you to go into 2016 feeling good about yourself, and by seeing your eye doctor before the end of the year, you can make sure that your 2015 vision benefits don’t go to waste. We hope to see you soon at VisionFirst!