Eye exams, particularly those performed routinely, go far beyond evaluating your ability to read an eye chart. These assessments, especially when performed by experienced practitioners like our team at Market Mall Eye Clinic, can uncover a range of health issues that may be seemingly unrelated to vision. Regular eye exams can provide critical insights into your overall health.
- Hypertension and Cardiovascular Disorders
Changes in the blood vessels at the back of the eye, or retinal vasculature, can signal hypertension or other cardiovascular problems. These alterations can often precede the onset of clinical symptoms, making eye exams a potential early warning system for these conditions.
Diabetic retinopathy, a condition characterized by damage to the blood vessels in the retina, is a common consequence of uncontrolled diabetes. Regular eye exams can detect this damage early, aiding in timely management of the disease.
- Neurological Disorders
Conditions like Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and Parkinson’s disease can manifest as visual disturbances or changes in ocular health. For instance, optic neuritis – inflammation of the optic nerve – is often an early sign of MS.
- Autoimmune Diseases
Certain autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, can impact ocular health and lead to conditions such as dry eyes, uveitis, and scleritis.
- High Cholesterol
Sometimes, a grey, ring-like appearance around the cornea, arcus senilis, can indicate high cholesterol levels. Moreover, retinal vein occlusion, often detectable during an eye exam, can also be associated with elevated cholesterol.
At Market Mall Eye Clinic, we understand eye exams’ critical role in overall health monitoring. Here are some key tips to keep in mind:
- Schedule Regular Check-ups: Adhere to your age group’s recommended eye exam frequency and risk factors.
- Communicate Openly: Share any health changes or concerns with your optometrist.
- Understand Your Risks: Familiarize yourself with your family’s medical history, as many health conditions have genetic links.
- Follow Optometrist Advice: Whether it’s a referral to another specialist or a recommended lifestyle change, heed the advice given during your exam.
Eye exams are an indispensable tool in maintaining your ocular health and overall well-being. The skilled team at Market Mall Eye Clinic is here to assist you on your path to health. Schedule your regular eye exam with us today, bring your questions for us, and take a step towards proactive health management.
Wong TY, Mitchell P. (2004). Hypertensive retinopathy. N Engl J Med. 2004;351(22):2310-7. doi: 10.1056/NEJMra032865. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15564551
Mayo Clinic. (2018). Diabetic retinopathy. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/diabetic-retinopathy/symptoms-causes/syc-20371611
Balcer LJ. (2006). Clinical practice. Optic neuritis. N Engl J Med. 2006;354(12):1273-80. https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMcp053247
American Academy of Ophthalmology. (2020). Uveitis and Iritis. https://www.aao.org/eye