In poetic writing, you will find authors often say things like “her eyes told the story” or “his eyes said it all.” It’s a beautiful picture. We can all relate to a look that seems to speak sentences.
What if we told you that your eyes tell the story of your body in a more literal sense too – in a life-saving sort of way?
When you go see your optometrist or ophthalmologist and get a complete eye exam (more than just checking your vision and adjusting a prescription), you will be given a series of tests. Some of these tests, obviously, tell you about potential eye conditions.
But some of these tests can actually predict other diseases too.
Eye Disease Prediction
Let’s start out with the obvious – a complete eye care exam tells your doctor many things like how well you see, if you have colorblindness, or if you could have any serious eye diseases, which could include:
- Diabetic Retinopathy
- Macular Degeneration
All of these eye diseases could potentially end in blindness. Even if they don’t reach that extreme point, they can cause many complicating vision problems throughout your life.
These diseases may not give you any warning signs or symptoms, but your eyes still show an optometrist that they are present. Early detection is key in stopping their development before they ruin your vision forever.
What’s so wild about complete eye exams is their ability to show early stages of diseases that seemingly have nothing to do with your eyes. This includes:
- Diabetes: If a doctor looks into your eyes and sees hemorrhaging, you may have diabetes
- High blood pressure: Torn or bent eye blood vessels could show high blood pressure
- Arthritis: Inflammation of the sclera or uvea could signal arthritis
- Cancer: Abnormal eye structure could signal cancer
- Tumors: Pupils that have developed an irregular shape could be a tumor
- High Cholesterol: Yellow appearance around the cornea or plaque filled retina blood vessels may show high cholesterol
- Thyroid disease: Bulging eyes can be a sign of thyroid issues
- Autoimmune diseases: Inflammation of the optic nerve could be a sign of multiple sclerosis or lupus
- Blood clotting disorder: Optic nerve swelling could signal an issue with blood clotting
Some recent research has even started showing that eye exams can provide early diagnosis of autism in children.
So yes, an eye exam is an exam for the eyes – but they are also an exam for your entire body.
Schedule An Appointment
As you can see, an eye exam goes so far beyond whether or not you have good vision. Since many of these health problems may not have early signs or symptoms, let your eyes tell the story of your body to an eye care professional. And don’t forget about your little ones – their eyes do the same exact thing.
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