Eye exams spot more than eye disease

A routine eye exam not only can catch early signs of eye disease but can also flag underlying health conditions that may otherwise go undetected.

An eye exam can provide early diagnosis of diabetes, brain tumors, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, and high blood pressure.

Diabetes is a disease that can have silent symptoms but an eye doctor can see bleeding on the retina which is an indicator of diabetic retinopathy.  Blurred vision or unusual pupil dilation and a change in the color of the optic nerve can potentially indicate a brain tumor. High cholesterol can cause a white ring around the cornea and can be a precursor to heart disease. Swelling of the optic nerve can be caused by multiple sclerosis while high blood pressure can cause blood vessels in the back of the eye to burst which is easily seen in an eye exam.

Health care providers stress the importance of getting a routine eye exam at least once a year to maintain eye health and in the process, potentially diagnosing any additional health problems.*

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