Eye Exams and Overall Health
Did you know that a yearly eye exam could actually protect more than just your eyes? Routine eye care can help to discover serious health conditions including diabetes, brain tumors and even high cholesterol.
The blood vessels in the eyes are nothing short of amazing when comes to helping doctors detect problems. Diabetes, for example, can affect the small capillaries in the retina. During an eye exam, a doctor can detect problems with those capillaries.
Similarly, doctors can also detect any bends, kinks, or tears in the blood vessels—an indication of high blood pressure. Inflamed eyes may be a sign of an autoimmune disorder, which might also be caught during a routine exam. In addition to these health conditions, eye exams can obviously help diagnose serious eye diseases like glaucoma, which is a leading cause of blindness.
Glaucoma and Risk Factors
The eye has a unique drainage system to help maintain appropriate pressure in the eye. With most types of glaucoma, the eye's drainage system no longer functions properly. The fluid begins to build up, creating pressure within the eye. Those high pressure levels damage the optic nerve, resulting in vision loss.
You are at higher risk if a family member has glaucoma or if you are 50 years or older. One of the biggest issues with glaucoma is that there are often no noticeable symptoms in its earliest stages. Statistics suggest that nearly half of those with glaucoma don't know they have it. Since Glaucoma can have such a disastrous impact with no noticeable symptoms at the outset, having a yearly eye exam is absolutely essential. The earlier glaucoma is caught, the easier it is to prevent complete vision loss.
Many people put off making an appointment because they feel their vision has not changed. Comprehensive eye exams are not just important for your vision but also for your overall health.