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Can an Eye Test Detect Other Health Problems? 

May 1, 2022

You’ve probably already heard how important it is to get regular eye exams. But did you know that your eyes can detect other health problems? It’s true. 

Your eyes actually mirror what’s going on in your body. This is why comprehensive eye exams can reveal information about your health that may otherwise go unnoticed. And the scary truth is many eye diseases and many diseases, in general, produce no symptoms during the early stages

Read on as a Hackensack, NJ optometrist discusses how eye exams can detect other health problems and reveal early warning signs of disease.

How Your Eyes Reveal Your Health

The structures that make up your eyes contain a network of nerves, blood vessels, and membranes. And these structures receive blood, oxygen, and nutrients from the blood that circulates through the body. 

Major changes in your blood or how it circulates show up in the blood vessels that feed your eyes. Likewise, your retina and cornea are also affected by changes in the body so they can also reveal signs of health issues.

A comprehensive eye examination allows your optometrist to detect as many as 20 health issues in the early stages of disease. And as important as early detection is when disease develops, getting regular eye exams can help you get needed treatment early on.

Diseases Detected by an Eye Exam

Heart Disease

Early signs of heart disease can show up as microscopic marks on your retina. These marks are caused by eye stroke incidents, which can be a symptom of heart disease. Other symptoms include temporary vision in one eye or an overall shadowing of your visual field.

Diabetes

The blood vessels in your eyes can show signs of diabetes long before any other signs appear. High sugar levels in the blood cause the blood vessels inside your retina to leak blood, which is something your optometrist can spot during a comprehensive eye exam.   

High Cholesterol

Early signs of high cholesterol may take the form of blue or yellow rings around the cornea. Deposits in the blood vessels inside your cornea can also develop when high cholesterol is present. 

High Blood Pressure

Bends, kinks, or bleeding from the blood vessels in the back of the eye may be signs of high blood pressure. Incidentally, high blood pressure is a known risk factor for macular degeneration, glaucoma, and other eye-related conditions.

If you have more questions or wish to schedule a consultation, please feel free to call our Hackensack, NJ optometry office today. 

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