Major health organizations including the CDC and the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) recommend yearly comprehensive eye exams. And fortunately, the percentage of Americans receiving eye exams has been on an upward trend since 2000.
But half of all Americans still opt out of their yearly comprehensive eye exams. Many people believe that if they haven’t noticed their vision changing then there is no reason to go to the eye doctor. And this is unfortunate because eye exams can often be as effective as a physical at detecting health problems.
And this is not limited just to eye diseases. Eye doctors are able to detect all sorts of health problems that may have otherwise gone undetected. Here are five common health problems eye exams can uncover:
Diabetes affects the capillaries in your retina and may cause them to leak a yellowish fluid or bleed. This is a common sign of undiagnosed diabetic retinopathy.
If left untreated, diabetic retinopathy can lead to blindness but early treatment cuts this risk down dramatically. And fortunately, there are many ways you can manage your diabetes and preserve your vision going forward.
2. High blood pressure
When you suffer from high blood pressure, the blood vessels in your eyes may exhibit kinks or tears. You may also have weakened or narrowed arteries.
3. High cholesterol
If your corneas have a yellowish tint this may be a sign of high cholesterol. Plaques in the blood vessels can also indicate high cholesterol.
4. Rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases
Dry eyes are a common side-effect of rheumatoid arthritis. And inflammation of the irises is also a big indicator of rheumatoid arthritis.
Eye doctors can often spot signs of other autoimmune diseases as well. For instance, bulging eyes is a symptom of a condition known as Graves disease.
5. Certain types of cancer
Many different types of cancer can be detected during comprehensive eye exams. Brain tumors can be detected based on vision changes. Your eyes can also indicate if you have skin cancer and retinal bleeding can indicate leukemia.
We know that you are busy with back to school preparations. But did you know that this is actually the perfect time to schedule the whole family for comprehensive eye exams? Contact us about scheduling an appointment with one of our doctors today.