Many people do not realize that a comprehensive eye exam is not just about determining if you need eyeglasses or contact lenses. The exam allows your eye doctor to evaluate your overall eye health.
That can help reveal important information about your overall health. This examination is much more than just checking if you have 20/20 vision. It is a thorough checkup of your eyes and their related health issues.
Good Eyesight Is Just the Beginning
Many Americans recognize the value of maintaining good eye health. Yet, many younger people do not see the necessity of routine eye exams. According to a survey by the American Optometric Association, nearly half of the people between the ages of 23 and 38 think that they do not require an eye exam as long as their vision is unimpaired.
However, it is crucial to note that eye exams are not just for checking your vision. They are also for spotting early indicators of several systemic and chronic diseases. These include diabetes, hypertension, autoimmune diseases, and cancers.
Without using an X-ray, CT scan, or invasive surgery, it is the only way to see the blood vessels behind the eye. Making thorough eye exams a regular part of your overall health maintenance, like an annual physical with your primary care physician, is crucial.
How Your Eyes Can Reveal Your Overall Health
There is an intricate link between the network of blood vessels, membranes, and nerves that makes up the eyes and the body’s general health. Blood that flows throughout the body nourishes the eyes. So, any changes to the blood or circulation are visible in the blood vessels that supply the eyes. Changes in the body can also affect the cornea and retina, making them a window into general health.
A comprehensive eye exam can be a helpful tool for spotting various health problems in their early stages of development. An eye doctor may detect up to 20 health problems during an examination. The key to treating and managing these conditions is early detection, and routine eye exams can offer a chance for early intervention.
Health Issues Detected by a Comprehensive Eye Exam
Slight marks on your retina may be the first indication of heart disease. These marks result from eye stroke incidents, which can signify heart disease. Other signs include a temporary loss of vision in one eye or a general shadowing of your field of vision.
Diabetes can manifest in your eye blood vessels long before other symptoms do. During a thorough eye exam, your eye doctor can detect blood leakage from the blood vessels inside your retina caused by high blood sugar levels.
Blue or yellow rings around the cornea may be the first indication of high cholesterol. When high cholesterol is present, deposits can form inside the blood vessels of your cornea.
Bends, kinks, or bleeding from the blood vessels in the back of the eye can indicate high blood pressure. Glaucoma, macular degeneration, and other eye-related conditions are other risk factors for high blood pressure.
Medical organizations like the CDC and the American Academy of Ophthalmology strongly recommend routine comprehensive eye exams. They can help ensure the early detection and management of various health issues. Eye doctors can identify health issues that might remain undetected for a long time. So, scheduling routine eye exams is crucial to maintaining good general health.
For more on eye exams, visit Abraham Eye Associates at our Villanova, Pennsylvania office. Call (484) 209-0800 to schedule an appointment today.