When examining your eyes, your eye doctor can predict many health concerns, some not related to your eyes.
In a recent study by Optum, it was found that early signs of chronic diseases could be found during a general eye exam. Conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and even early signs of cancer could be detected.
Here’s how your eye care provider can detect these diseases and help you on your journey to healthy living!
Diabetes can sometimes cause vision concerns such as Diabetic Retinopathy or Diabetic Macular Edema. Your eye doctor can sometimes see this disease manifest in eye tissues, before a primary care physician can diagnose this disease. Early detection of diabetes can prevent vision loss and other serious complications.
Cardiovascular disease/heart disease:
One test that we perform on our patients is called the optical coherence tomography, or OCT. With this test, doctors may be able to detect small scars or marks left by an eye stroke. These marks do not always indicate heart disease, but they are more frequently found in patients with heart disease.
High Blood Pressure/hypertension:
Abnormal shaping of the blood vessels in the eye can indicate high blood pressure, sometimes before it’s diagnosed by your primary care doctor. Hypertension can damage blood vessels and lead to hemorrhage, leaking and swelling, which can be seen in the eye.
This inflammatory disease can often result in dry eyes and swelling or inflammation in the white part of the eye. Your eye doctor can sometimes find indicators of this autoimmune disease and others like rheumatoid arthritis during your eye exam.
If your eye doctor detects swelling or shadows in the eye, it can indicate a serious condition in the brain. It could be a tumor or clots that could result in a stroke.
These and many other important health factors can be detected and addressed at your yearly comprehensive eye exam!