If you aren't having trouble with your vision and/or your prescription glasses seem to be correcting your vision well, you may not think that you need to go to your eye doctor for a regular exam. However, an eye exam also can help detect potential problems in your overall health before they become apparent via other types of medical tests. Sometimes, these abnormalities are apparent, such as the color of your cornea; other times, they are only visible using special equipment. It's not an exaggeration to say that your eyes are a window to your general health and well-being.
Benefits of eye exams to your overall health
1. An eye exam can detect diabetes in its early stages. Diabetes, the failure of the body to adequately regulate insulin levels, affects blood vessels and circulation of blood throughout the body. This includes the small blood vessels and capillaries in the eye. Patients with diabetes, even those in the early stages, can have tiny amounts of blood and/or yellow fluid in their retinal fluid, something that an eye doctor can easily detect.
2. Hypertension can be apparent in the blood vessels in the eye. Tears, bends in the blood vessels, and other eye issues, such as retinal detachment, are signs of hypertension.
3. Yellowish rings in your corneas can indicate elevated cholesterol levels. A yellowish tint around your corneas can be a sign of cholesterol levels building up around the eyes.
4. Inflammation of the eye can indicate an auto-immune disease. Inflammation is a contributing factor to many auto-immune diseases, such as arthritis, lupus, and Crohn's disease.
5. Corneas with a solid yellow color can mean liver problems. Jaundice is a common symptom of liver disease. That can include not only the skin, but also the corneas. An eye doctor can determine whether this is a serious problem based on the shade and location of the yellowing.
6. Protruding eyes can be a sign of a thyroid problem. Extremely prominent eyes, or "bug eyes," are a common symptom of thyroid disease, particularly Grave's disease.
While an eye exam may seem like an unnecessary expense, seeing your eye doctor on a regular basis can help detect a variety of health conditions early, such as hypertension, diabetes, and even liver disease. Getting that regular eye exam can give your primary physician an early clue about potential health conditions before they create many outward symptoms. Contact a location like Advanced Eye Care & Surgery Center for more information on eye exams.