The eyes are often referred to as the windows of the soul, but yours could also provide a peek into your physical body’s overall health. Most people naturally expect that an eye exam might reveal that they have eye-related disorders such as cataracts or glaucoma, but you could also be surprised to hear that your eye exam can reveal so much more. At a Brooklyn, NY ophthalmology clinic, our vision specialist may also detect these common ailments during a comprehensive eye exam.
High Blood Pressure
Eyes are lined with blood vessels that can all be impacted by this common health condition that tends to affect people as they age. Damage to the blood vessels in your eye often affects the retina, which can lead to blurred vision. Your eye doctor could also identify fluid build up under your retina that could lead to scarring without proper treatment.
The reduced blood flow to the eye that occurs due to heart disease can cause some of the cells in the retina to die off. This creates lesions that an eye doctor can often see during a routine imaging scan. People who have serious heart disease might also have plaque deposits in their eye that show up during an exam, which they’ll mention to ensure that you follow up with a physician that can help you get your heart health on track.
People with diabetes can often go for years without noticing any obvious outward symptoms in their general health or ability to see clearly. But, vision specialists can detect changes within the eye that can lead to a faster identification of the need for diabetes testing. Since diabetes can lead to severe vision issues that include weakened blood vessels in the eye that leak in front of the retina, it’s reassuring to know that your ophthalmologist is watching out for early signs of diabetes when most damage is preventable.
When you’re feeling achy joints, the last thing on your mind might be your eyes. But, rheumatoid arthritis can also cause eye symptoms that your exam might detect. The inflammation associated with this condition can impact the sclera, or white part of your eye. If you have rheumatoid arthritis, then your eye care provider can also keep watch for glaucoma, dryness and cataracts that your arthritis places you at higher risk for developing.
Eye doctors also visually inspect your eye during a comprehensive exam, which could lead yours to notice that your eyeball is protruding more than normal. Retracted eyelids and eye protrusion are common symptoms of thyroid disease that could indicate that it is time for further testing.
Identifying all of these ailments early can help you receive a better prognosis. The best ophthalmologist that you can visit should always be keeping an eye out for these conditions during your exam, and you should expect for our eye doctor to let you know if you need to plan for follow up care with your general physician. Working in tandem with your other health care providers can help you identify common health conditions early while also finding ways to stop them from impacting your vision.