Prevent your health with regular eye exams


The eye provides doctors with a clear view of blood vessels, so an eye exam can tell you a lot about your general health. “Our eyes are amazing — they offer a unique view into the human body,” explains John Lahr, Medical director at EyeMed Vision Care.

PLX Academy · News · 14 January 2022

Regular ophthalmological examinations will not only save your eyesight but you can also prevent or detect other health problems. Research shows that through a detailed eye examination, early signs of many diseases can be detected and the health of the body as a whole can be seen.

„Besides eye diseases, a thorough exam can spot serious problems such as diabetes, lupus, and high cholesterol. With regular eye exams, you may catch these problems earlier and avoid serious complications“, says John Lahr, MD.

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, through regular eye examination you are able to see serious medical conditions such as:

→ Aneurysm

The dilation of the arteries or aorta can be seen through the eyes.

→ Brain tumor

Signs of a tumor may include loss of lateral vision, double vision or changes in pupil size.

→ Cancers of blood, tissues or skin cancer

Cancers cause changes in the outside or inside of the eye.

→ Diabetes

The symptoms of diabetes can appear in the eyes even before the disease is diagnosed. Small blood vessels in the retina that leak yellow fluid or blood may be a sign of diabetic retinopathy.

→ Giant cell arteritis

GCA is a disease of blood vessels and can result in blurry vision or double vision.

→ Heart disease

Early signs of heart disease can be seen with Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT). 

→ High cholesterol

A yellow or blue ring around the cornea can be a sign of high cholesterol in the body, especially in people under the age of 40.

→ High blood pressure

Abnormal curvature or bleeding of blood vessels in the back of the eye may signal high blood pressure.

Vitamin A deficiency

Dry eyes and night blindness are signs of vitamin A deficiency in the eyes. Its deficiency is the leading cause of blindness in children worldwide.

 

Given all these possible health conditions, you should keep in mind that a regular medical examination should not be delayed. This applies to everyone, from the youngest to the oldest.  At-risk groups are people over the age of 40, diabetics, people with high blood pressure or a family history of eye diseases.

 

→ Lupus

This chronic autoimmune disease can coincide with dry eyes or causes swelling in the white matter, middle or back of the eye.

→ Lyme disease

Infectious disease, most commonly transmitted by ticks, leads to inflammation of the optic nerve.

→ Drug toxicity

Symptoms of drug toxicity include redness of the eyes, peeling of the eyelids, scratching of the cornea or conjunctivitis.

→ Multiple sclerosis

Inflammation of the optic nerve may be an early sign of multiple sclerosis. It often goes along with severely blurred vision, painful eye movement or double vision.

→ Myasthenia Gravis

The first symptoms of this neuromuscular pain are drooping eyelids or double vision.

→ Rheumatoid arthritis

Ocular signs include red eyes with deep and severe pain.

→ Rheumatoid arthritis

Ocular signs include red eyes with deep and severe pain.

→ Sarcoidosis

Inflammatory disease which can be seen through the iris or the colored part of the eye, and also causes sensitivity to light.

→ Sexually transmitted diseases

Syphilis, herpes, chlamydia, HIV, gonorrhea, genital warts and pubic lice are often detected in the ocular examination.

→ Sickle cell disease

Genetic disorders of the blood can cause a wide range of ocular changes, from redness and rupture of blood vessels to heavy bleeding and retinal detachment.

→ Sjogren syndrome

The key feature of Sjogren syndrome is dry eyes.

→ Stroke

Retinal blood vessels sometimes contain blockages or clots, indicating an increased risk of stroke. Loss of lateral vision may be a warning of brain damage from a previous stroke.

→ Thyroid disease

The thyroid disease can cause dry eyes, blurring or loss of vision. Protruding eyeballs and drooping eyelids are signs of hyperthyroidism.

→ Vascular disease

Disorders of blood vessels often lead to visible blue edging in and around the eye.

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