When was the last time you had a comprehensive eye exam? If it has been over a year, then you are due for one. During a comprehensive eye exam, an eye specialist can detect several health problems that may have otherwise gone undetected. These health problems might not be just limited to eyes. The health of your eyes give the eye specialist an idea about how your blood vessels, nerves and connective tissues are functioning, thus giving an idea about your overall health.
Here are 5 common health problems an eye specialist can detect:
- Diabetes: Your eye health and diabetes have a close relation. High blood sugar levels cause the tiny blood vessels in the eyes to bulge and eventually leak fluid. An eye specialist can identify diabetes just by looking at the condition of the blood vessels in the eyes during a comprehensive eye exam. Diabetic people often have bulging blood vessels in the eye. Having diabetes also puts a person at the risk of developing diabetic retinopathy, cataracts, glaucoma and diabetic macular edema.
- High blood pressure: When you have high blood pressure, the blood vessels in the eyes can get damaged. While examining your eyes, an eye specialist can tell if you have high blood pressure. To keep eye diseases at bay, it is essential that you keep your blood pressure under control. High blood pressure is one of the risk factors for glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and other eye diseases.
- High cholesterol: High cholesterol can also be detected during a comprehensive eye examination. Deposits in the blood vessels can indicate high cholesterol.
- Rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases: Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disorder that can cause severe pain in the joints. If you think that the effects of rheumatoid arthritis are limited to joints, then you are wrong. One of the areas in your body where you might feel the most pain is in your eyes. A comprehensive eye examination can help your eye specialist to spot signs of inflammation in the white parts of the eyes. With therapy rheumatoid arthritis can be managed, hence it is important to get an accurate diagnosis done so that timely medical help can be sought.
- Certain types of cancer: There are certain types of cancer that can be detected through a comprehensive eye exam. Blood cancer, leukemia, skin cancer and tissue cancer can be detected through a comprehensive eye exam. Brain tumours can also be diagnosed based on vision changes.
You must remember that the symptoms discussed above do not necessarily mean that you have a certain health condition. If an eye exam reveals a possible health problem, your eye specialist will ask you to consult a specialist for further testing.
What is a comprehensive eye exam?
As you can see, a comprehensive eye exam assesses more than just your visual health. A comprehensive eye examination can last up to an hour or more as there are a number of eye tests that are performed. These include visual acuity test, refraction test, slit lamp exam, pupil dilation test and eye movement test. We at Disha Eye Hospitals have a complete set-up for diagnostic and imaging services.