When was the last time you visited an optometrist for an eye exam? If you already wear glasses or contacts, chances are you’ve at least been in for a check up in the past year. However, if you have had healthy vision in the past, it is likely you haven’t been to the eye doctor for quite some time.
During school, children are given eye exams at least once a year during an annual physical. However, once those children graduate into adulthood, the frequency of keeping up with those exams diminishes. This is bad timing because regular eye exams are more beneficial for your health than determining whether or not your vision is keeping up to par.
Regular Eye Exams Can Prevent:
- Glaucoma – The nerve that connects the eye to the brain is damaged, which causes a collection of eye conditions that can lead to blindness.
- Cataracts – Like looking through a fogged-up window, cataracts cause the lens on the eye to develop an opaque layer that leads to cloudy vision.
- Retinal detachments – This is an emergency-type of case when the retina pulls away from the tissue and blood vessels that nourish the eye.
- Macular degeneration – Fatty deposits accumulate under the retina, the middle of the retina deteriorates, or leaky blood vessels grow under the retina are all ways one can experience macular degeneration. The most common symptom is blurred vision, which can eventually lead to vision loss.
- Diabetes – The body has too much sugar in the blood, which causes many different diseases that are collectively known as diabetes.
- High blood pressure – Also known as hypertension, high blood pressure is when the blood flow has too high of pressure inside artery walls, which can lead to stroke and other heart diseases.
- High cholesterol – Cholesterol can be good or bad. High cholesterol is when the LDL cholesterol levels exceed HDL cholesterol levels, which can increase risk of heart attack or other heart diseases.
- Vascular disease – This circulatory condition is the result of calcium and fat buildup in the arteries, which can lead to leg and arm pain.
- Certain cancers – An eye exam can help detect eye cancers, brain tumors, and certain types of skin cancer that show initial signs on the eyelid.
It is obvious that an optometrist is able to detect the eye diseases, such as glaucoma, cataracts, retinal detachments, and macular degeneration through an eye exam, but what is more surprising is the other vital health alerts that can be spotted during the exam.
An optometrist can detect the other vital health warnings because symptoms can show themselves through the eyes before a person may feel bad at all. For example, high cholesterol can be detected because the cornea will have a yellowish ring around it. High blood pressure shows itself because the blood vessels in the eyes kink, bend, or tear.
The eyes are more than just a window to the soul. They are a window to identifying health issues before they become serious dangers.
Take care of your health by taking care of your eyes.