General Health Conditions That You Can Catch During A Routine Eye Check
Vision is one of the most important senses that a person has, and we have to work to preserve it. Regular eye exams are an important part of your preventative health care. If there are issues with your eyes such as blurry vision, difficulty reading, or sore, red eyes, it is essential that these problems are dealt with at an early stage so that the best possible outcome can be achieved.
Many people do not know that getting a routine eye exam can uncover details about other medical issues they could be experiencing. We thought we would create a list of some of the primary health issues detected through an eye examination.
1: Eye exams can identify symptoms of conditions elsewhere in the body
At first glance, many think a comprehensive eye exam is just a vision test, but getting your eyes checked can have benefits that go well beyond the optometry chair.
Because of the eye’s small nerves and blood vessels, delicate structures, and proximity to your brain, a comprehensive eye exam is one of the least invasive steps you can take to protect your overall health, especially with all the technology available today. Not only can your optometrist assess your eye health, but they can also identify symptoms of conditions elsewhere in the body like brain tumors, aneurysms, high blood pressure and diabetes.
2: Brain Injuries and Neurological Conditions
The optic nerve in the eye is essentially an extension of the brain. Any neurological condition that affects nerve cells, including Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis, may be detected during an eye exam.
Specific parts of the brain control the muscles responsible for eye movement. Additionally, diseases affecting the brain and brain injuries, including strokes, may affect the same parts of the brain that control eye coordination and tracking. A comprehensive eye exam can detect problems connecting to eye movement, and vision training can improve the eye’s ability to track and work together.
3: High Blood Pressure
A doctor of optometry may be the first healthcare professional to detect high blood pressure through a comprehensive eye exam. The fine blood vessels in the retina at the back of the eye help identify the risks of a stroke or heart attack before they occur. Eye health can often signal the presence and state of serious medical conditions, such as hypertension, which is a leading cause of a heart attack, stroke, and chronic heart failure. The information obtained through an eye exam can help healthcare providers treat patients preventively to decrease the risks of cardiovascular disease.
As many as one million Canadians are living with undiagnosed diabetes. Optometrists sometimes see indicators of diabetes in the eyes before the disease is formally diagnosed because diabetes can damage the small blood vessels in your retina.
Catching diabetes early can also reduce the risk of diabetes-related vision loss and other life-threatening complications like heart disease and kidney failure.
A comprehensive eye exam includes tests of peripheral vision and eye muscle function that can often be the first line of detection for a brain tumor. Brain tumors, depending on their location in the brain, can cause the loss of peripheral vision or damage the nerves supplying the muscles of the eyes, resulting in abnormal eye movements, double vision, or other vision changes. A comprehensive eye exam can also identify unusual structures and growths within the eye.
The eye and its surrounding tissues are one of the most common areas of the body where skin cancer is initially diagnosed. The skin around your eyes will be assessed for basal cell carcinoma during your eye exam.
If you are looking for an optometrist in Wetaskiwin, Alberta, get in touch with us at Doctors Eyecare Wetaskiwin. We have the full range of state-of-the-art equipment at our clinic to provide people of all ages with a detailed and thorough eye exam, including routine eye exams and eye exams for medical conditions. Additionally, we can refer patients to specialists if required.
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