Today’s optometry offices tend to offer much more in the way of positive eye care than ever before. As we become a more advanced society, we are better able to identify diseases and ailments that affect our vision. We have compiled a list of five of the most common health risks that can be discovered from a comprehensive eye exam.
- Diabetes. An eye exam can reveal the presence of diabetes often before your own physician is able to do so. That is because diabetes causes small blood specks to appear at the back of the eye which indicate higher than normal levels of blood sugar.
- Potential for strokes. During an eye examination the optometrist may see blood vessel blockages in the back of the eye. This can be an indication that the patient is at higher risk for a stroke – especially true for older patients. Optometrists recommend that people in 50 and older get regular eye exams as a way to detect stroke potential.
- STDs or sexually transmitted diseases. Even in this age of modern medicine, STDs are more common than most people realize. During an eye examination the optometrist will be able to detect the presence of undetected syphilis which presents itself as slightly different sized pupils.
- Rheumatoid arthritis. Symptoms of this illness include dry and/or burning eyes. Other signs of arthritis include joint pain and dry mouth so diagnosing the disease will require more than one doctor’s input. However, dry-eye is definitely one symptom of rheumatoid arthritis that may be an early indicator. Annual eye exams can certainly help to identify this condition in its early stages and allow for treatment options to alleviate the accompanying pain.
- Eye cancer. As with any cancer diagnosis, it is better to identify it early to better ensure that treatment will be successful. Most people are unaware that just like your skin, you can get freckles in the back of your eye. Today the average citizen is much more savvy about wearing sunblock and having spots on the skin checked for cancer. Always wear sunglasses when outdoors; they help protect your eyes like sunblock does for your skin. Should your optometrist find freckles on your eye it is imperative to have them checked regularly.
Visit the experts at Island Eyecare. We want to be part of your health care team.