They say the eyes are the windows to the soul. That may be true, but they are also windows into health conditions that express themselves via the health of the eye. The eyes sometimes express health problems that end up in other parts of the body. There is no guarantee that they will express themselves in your eyes. But by having regular optometrist checkups there is a chance your optometrist could catch something early.
It’s well known that eye doctors can detect syphilis. Undetected syphilis can often cause pupils with slightly different sizes. See more at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Ever had a “freckle” on the back of your eyes? Have you ever seen the sun freckles on someone’s skin? The same thing can happen in the back of your eye. Your optometrist is equipped to see such freckles and can make a proper referral if necessary. Just as skin freckles can sometimes morph or change shape, so can “eye freckles”. These can be monitored by your optometrist to ensure they don’t become something more serious.
Blood sugar levels can provide evidence in the form of small blood specks in the back of the eye. If you are having regular eye exams with your optometrist, it’s possible your optometrist will detect diabetic blood levels before your doctor.
An eye exam every 6-9 months for breast cancer patients who are on the drug Plaquenil is recommended as an early monitor of drug toxicity.
Sometimes eye doctors can detect blood vessel blockages in the back of the eye, which pose a high stroke risk. Especially for those who are older, a regular vision exam can help detect a stroke before it happens.
High Blood Pressure
Arteriovenous nicking at the back of the eye almost always signifies high blood pressure. Eye doctors can refer these patients to a regular doctor who will help them to make lifestyle changes and take the proper steps to prevent heart disease. Bulged veins in the eyes are another sign of high blood pressure.
Thinning eyelashes, which may be overlooked by some people as a sign of aging, can signify thyroid disease or skin conditions such as certain types of cancer and rosacea. In people with hyperthyroidism, we often see eyelids retracting and bulging eyes.
Vitamin A Deficiency
Vitamin A deficiency is commonly seen in patients who have had a weight-loss surgery. Doctors notice plaque on the surface of the eye indicating this problem.
Recurring red eye alerts doctors to inflammation which is linked to many different diseases, including Crohn’s disease and Lyme disease.
Schedule an Appointment with Your Optometrist
If it has been awhile since you’ve had a vision exam, schedule an appointment with us today and make your health a priority. Feel good about yourself and take action by seeing your eye doctor so you can optimize your overall health. We hope to see you soon.