Eye exams are the last thing you have time to work into your busy schedule, right? Scheduling routine eye exams should rank high on your to-do list, even if you have 20/20 vision. Why? Because an eye exam is about more than your eyes.
Most of us think eye exams are just an eye chart reading exercise. However, emerging health conditions beyond the eye may be detected during the course of an eye exam. This is possible because eyes are a unique organ providing a clear view into your overall health by way of your blood vessels, arteries, and cranial nerves.
Many people wait until they notice a change in their vision to see a doctor, but eye problems are often asymptomatic – meaning there are no symptoms. That’s why it’s so important to get an annual eye exam.
The list of conditions that can be uncovered by an eye exam is as long as it is familiar. Some of the disorders on this list are historically difficult to diagnose in early stages. Comprehensive eye exams go a long way toward assisting patients with early detection of eye and overall health problems.
Health conditions that can be detected through an eye exam include:
Linked to vision health, autoimmune disorders such as psoriasis, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis can begin with something as harmless as light sensitivity.
While headaches, dizziness, and blurry vision are commonly known as brain tumor indicators, improper pupil dilation and optic nerve color are additional red flags.
Age-related Macular Degeneration
Macular degeneration is usually accompanied by leaking of fluid or bleeding in the back of the eye. This causes central vision loss.
Diabetes can cause changes in the blood vessels of the retina, like swelling and leakage or the creation of new blood vessels. Blindness can result without early detection.
Pressure against the optic nerve and compression of the eye’s blood vessels may indicate glaucoma. This disease causes permanent and irreversible vision loss.
Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)
Signs of high blood pressure often appear first in the eye. Indicators can include narrowing of the blood vessels, spots on the retina, or bleeding in the back of the eye.
Retinas can lift or pull away from the wall of the eye. If not properly treated, this can cause permanent vision loss.
Keep an eye on your vision health and overall health by scheduling an appointment with your provider today. If you do not have a vision insurance plan, take a look at affordable individual vision plans from VSP Direct.
This post was written by Diane Dean.