They say that the eye is the window to the soul, but did you know that an eye exam is a window into your overall wellness? That’s right! A comprehensive eye exam is one of the best diagnostic tests to detect disease, not just in the eyes, but in the entire body.
Dr. Brian Boxer Wachler, a renowned ophthalmologist in Beverly Hills, says that many patients come into his office for a routine eye exam but leave with new information about their health. In fact, they sometimes leave with a referral in hand to see a specialist because of what Dr. Wachler discovered in the eye exam (Source: Digital Journal).
Here are seven health problems that an eye doctor may detect (or detect symptoms of) during an eye examination:
- Hypertension— an eye exam can show bleeding, kinks or bends in the blood vessels of the eye, which can be indicative of high blood pressure
- Cancer— an eye exam could detect unusual growths or tumors called ocular melanoma. Your eye doctor can also point out areas of suspicion for skin cancer or basal cell carcinoma on the eyelid. These lesions can even spread from the eye to the brain if not treated.
- Diabetes— blood and yellowish fluid can seep out of tiny blood vessels in the retinas. This would indicate diabetic retinopathy, which stems from diabetes.
- Autoimmune disorders— Lupus or other autoimmune disorders may cause an inflammation to any part of the eye, which would be detected during an eye exam.
- High cholesterol— this condition can often be indicated by a yellow ring around the cornea. High cholesterol can lead to heart attack or stroke.
- Tumors— droopy eyelids and pupils of varying sizes could indicate a tumor in the neck or even an aneurysm
- Thyroid disease— eyes may appear bulging if the thyroid is overactive, in the case of Graves Disease
If it has been more than two years since you have scheduled a comprehensive eye exam, contact a physician near you to have a complete and thorough eye examination. Besides making sure that your vision remains as clear as possible, your eye doctor can help keep the rest of your body healthy as well. Don’t delay in scheduling your comprehensive eye exam. It’s for whole body health!