Optometrists Are Looking For A Lot More Than 20/20 In Your Eye Exam
If you think the only reason you need an eye exam is to make sure you don’t need glasses yet, or update your prescription if you already wear glasses, then you’re wrong. In a comprehensive eye exam, your optometrist can see early tell-tale signs of some big health issues:
- Diabetes: Diabetic Retinopathy, a loss of blood and other fluids through tiny blood vessels in the eye, is the leading cause of blindness in the U.S. Your eye doctor can see this during an exam.
- High Cholesterol: Your eye doctor may find yellowish ring around the cornea, which is usually a symptom of high cholesterol.
- Autoimmune Disorders: Lupus and other autoimmune diseases can inflame the light-sensitive retina.
- Tumors: Droopy eyelids, or pupils that are not the same size, are a sign that you might be developing a tumor in your neck.
- Cancer: Ocular Melanoma, a rare cancer of the eye’s pigment cells, changes the structure of your eye. Your eye doctor can also help prevent lesions from spreading from your eyelid to your brain from skin cancer.
- Hypertension: High blood pressure can sometimes cause blood vessels in your eye to kink or cause new ones to bleed. A routine eye exam can catch this symptom.
- Thyroid Disease (Graves Disease): If your eyes are bulging, this might mean that your thyroid is overactive. (Digital Journal)
Heritage Medical Group optometrist Dr. Curtis Hoggarth understands that it’s easy to overlook eye exams:
“Eyes are easy to ignore because they don’t tend to hurt. However, what needs to be understood is that most problems that can have very serious consequences. By the time we notice vision changes, often much damage has already been done. Routine eye exams can help prevent this.”
You should get a comprehensive eye exam every 2 years. Take a look at Dr. Hoggarth’s profile if you don’t currently see an eye doctor.