Imagine walking in for a routine eye exam only to discover you had cancer, hypertension, or even Lupus… These are just a few of health problems you may not know your eye doctor can spot the early symptoms for.
Take home message: Your eyes are a window into your overall health, and it’s important to get your eyes checked even if you don’t think you have vision problems.
7 Health Problems You Didn’t Know Your Eye Doctor Can Spot First
1. Diabetes: A routine eye exam can detect blood and other yellowish fluids seeping out of fragile and miniscule vessels in the retinas, referred to as Diabetic Retinopathy – the leading cause of blindness in the U.S.
2. Cancer: A routine eye exam can see changes in the structure of the eyes and unusual growths, including a rare form of cancer called Ocular Melanoma which develops within the cells that make pigmentation in the eye. Skin cancer can also be detected through an eye exam, as lesions called basal cell carcinomas can show up on the eyelid and can possibly spread to the brain through the eye.
3. Hypertension: A routine eye exam can show bleeding in new blood vessels in the eye and bends or kinks in the vessels which normally run straight to the retina, which may be signs of high blood pressure.
4. Autoimmune Disorders: A routine eye exam can detect an inflammation of the light-sensitive retina at the back of the eye, which may be a sign of Lupus or other autoimmune disorders.
5. High Cholesterol: A routine eye exam can detect a yellow ring around the cornea, which can be an indicator of high cholesterol: putting you at risk for heart attack or stroke. High cholesterol can also be detected by a yellow plaque forming on the blood vessels of the retina.
6. Thyroid Disease: A routine eye exam can detect a bulging of the eyes, which is one of the symptoms of Grave’s Disease – a disorder characterized by an overactive thyroid.
7. Tumors: A visit to the eye doctor can reveal that you have droopy eyelids and pupils that aren’t the same size, which can point to tumors in the neck or even possible aneurysms.
Dr. Brian Boxer Wachler, a nationally recognized Beverly Hills Ophthalmologist, has had many patients come in for a routine eye exam only to leave with a referral to a different medical specialist based on what he can see in their eyes.