Your eyes are not simply the windows to your soul. They are also indicators of systemic health conditions. Thus, an eye exam can be used for more than determining whether or not you need glasses. Here are several health conditions that maybe exposed during an eye exam:
High Blood Pressure
If you have hypertension, the blood vessels throughout your body may suffer from the amount of pressure or force exhibited against the vessel walls. As your eye doctor checks your eyes during an exam, he or she can assess the blood vessels within the eye. If these vessels have been damaged by hypertension, they may display irregularities such as tears and unusual bends or angles.
High amounts of blood sugar can cause damage to the blood vessels of the eye, especially those of the retina. During an eye exam, your optometrist or ophthalmologist may notice that your retinal blood vessels are leaking yellow fluid or blood. This leaking condition is known as diabetic retinopathy.
Over time, the leaking capillaries can eventually become closed off or blocked, leading to retinal damage and even to other eye conditions, such as glaucoma.
People who have thyroid issues often have eyes that appear to bulge or protrude. If you have this condition, you may not notice it or may believe that it is your normal appearance. However, your eye doctor can readily recognize the eye-bulging phenomenon as Graves disease.
High Levels of Cholesterol
If you have high cholesterol, the cornea of your eye may appear yellowed. Additionally, as your eye doctor views the capillaries of your retina, he or she may notice that plaques from cholesterol buildup have formed within the blood vessels.
The shape and formation of your eye should have a regular appearance. However, if your optometrist or ophthalmologist notices that you eye exhibits structural irregularities, he or she may suspect cancer.
The cancer can change the pigmentation of the eye, or it can cause growths on the eye. In addition to localized ocular melanoma, an exam may expose skin cancer that has spread to the lids of the eye.
Early detection of these types of cancer are important, especially due to the eye's proximity to the brain, because the spread or transfer of cancer cells is common.
To learn more about the relationship between your eyes and systemic conditions and to have your eyes assessed, schedule an eye exam with an eye doctor in your area.
As an adult in my 50s, I find that my body isn't as strong as it used to be. But I don't let that stop me from enjoying life! In fact, I make every effort to get the treatments I need from my doctor to improve my health. I know that I'm not a senior yet, but I do all I can to prevent the health problems that affect that age group. Because of this, I put together a health blog for people over age 50. My blog isn't a review of what you can easily find on the Internet. It's a plethora of unique information designed to help you find the services you need fast. What my blog doesn't do is tell you what to do for your health. Instead, it offers guidance and options. Please, enjoy the blog and happy reading.