A comprehensive eye exam can do more than test your vision – it could help save your life. Eye exams with a doctor of optometry can help detect eye diseases and serve as early indicators of a number of potentially serious health conditions, including brain tumors.
It’s important to remember that the eyes are connected to many other systems in the human body. That makes routine eye exams an important part of preventative healthcare—regardless of your age or physical health.
Comprehensive eye exams not only test your vision but also give optometrists a close-up look at the inside of the eye, including blood vessels, veins, and nerves, all of which may contain clues to conditions that affect your overall health.
Some of these conditions can be quite serious, which means that an eye exam can actually help save your life. The sooner an issue is detected, the better the chances of successful treatment.
Doctors of optometry are often the first health-care professionals to detect high blood pressure
By looking at the blood vessels in the retina at the back of the eye, an eye exam can help identify risks for stroke or heart attack before they occur.
Information obtained through an eye exam often helps determine appropriate treatment for patients, decreasing the risks of cardiovascular disease.
Optometrists are often able to see indicators of diabetes in the eyes before the disease is formally diagnosed.
Diabetes can damage the small blood vessels in the retina, or at the back of the eye.
Early detection of diabetes through an eye exam not only reduces the risk of vision loss, but also can minimize the risk of complications such as heart disease and kidney failure.
A comprehensive eye exam can identify unusual structures or growths within the eye, including a rare form of cancer called ocular melanoma, which can be life-threatening if it spreads.
Brain tumors can cause loss of peripheral vision, or damage the nerves that supply the muscles of the eyes, resulting in abnormal eye movements, double vision or other changes in vision.
Skin cancer can also be detected through an eye exam, as lesions called basal cell carcinomas can show up on the eyelid and can possibly spread to the brain through the eye.