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Five Health Issues Detected by an Eye Exam

Your eyes can reveal underlining health issues to your eye doctor.

Getting a comprehensive eye exam can not only detect a change in vision, but determine your overall health as well. The eye is the only place in the body where a doctor has a clear view of your blood vessels, nerves, and connecting tissue without the need of surgery. This unobstructed view gives eye doctors insight on what is going on in other parts of your body, not just in your eyes.

Here are five health issues that may be discovered during an eye exam:

1. Diabetes:

Change or damage in the blood vessels of the retina. If the blood vessels are leaking blood or a yellowish fluid you may have diabetic retinopathy. Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness among adults in the US.

2. Hypertension:

Blood vessels in the eyes are normally straight, if they narrow, bend, kink, or tear the likelihood of high blood pressure exists.

3. High Cholesterol:

The cornea may have a yellowish appearance or yellow ring around it. Also plaque found in the blood vessels of the retina is another indication of high cholesterol. High cholesterol can lead to fat build-up blocking blood flow to the eye, which can cause vision loss.

4. Thyroid Disease (Grave’s Disease):

Protruding, bulging eyes are an indication of thyroid disease.

5. Stroke:

A microscopic clot in the blood vessels of the retina could put someone at risk for a stroke.

6. Tumor or Aneurysm:

Pupils of different sizes and droopy eyelids or a change in the appearance of the retina may reveal a tumor or aneurysm.

If your eye doctor detects any of the above health conditions, you should seek immediate attention from your healthcare professional for further investigation.

Sources:
The American Academy of Ophthalmology, “Your Eyes Could Be the Windows to Your Health.”
https://www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/diagnosing-systemic-diseases-eye-exams (last accessed 5.5.17)
Digital Journal, “7 Eye Health Problems You Didn’t Know.”
http://www.digitaljournal.com/life/health/seven-eye-health-problems-you-didn-t-know/article/380794 (Last accessed 5.5.17)