Guest post by Emily Hunter
The eyes are the windows to the soul, or at least that’s what everyone’s heard.
That’s largely a matter of opinion.
For your doctor, however, the eyes can be windows into the rest of your body.
While eye diseases like glaucoma and cataracts can be, of course, seen through an eye examination,
people who know what to look for can find signs of all kinds of illnesses, including diabetes and
high blood pressure.
In fact, all the details might be in your eyes long before other symptoms make themselves known.
Your eyes may not reveal your inner most thoughts or being, but your doctor can look deep within
and detect signs of heart disease, cancer, HIV, aneurysms, and other diseases.
There are reasons to have eye exams other than vision.
“Your doctor can look deep within and
detect signs of heart disease, cancer,
HIV, aneurysms, and other diseases.”
Looking into Your Eyes
One of the reasons your eyes reveal so much is because they are the only places in your body
where your doctor can look at veins, arteries, and nerves, without any LASIK eye surgery.
If you’ve got issues that can be seen in your blood vessels or nerve tissue, they’re likely to be
seen in your eyes during a comprehensive eye examination.
An in-depth look at your eyes should be a priority, especially if there’s a history of eye problems
in your family.
If you wait for symptoms to appear, it will be that much more difficult to deal with any issues
that might occur, because the disorder has been given time to advance.
In fact, some eye problems cause no symptoms until it’s too late.
“One of the reasons your eyes reveal
so much is because they are the only
places in your body where your doctor
can look at veins, arteries, and nerves,
without eye surgery.”
Visible to the Naked Eye
You could have your mother’s eyes in more ways than one.
Many qualities of your eyes are passed down from your family, much more than just the shape
If your parents wear glasses or contacts, for example, it’s much more likely you’re going to need
them yourself at some point, if you don’t already wear them.
One of these hereditary conditions is heterochromia.
In layman’s terms, it means your eyes are two different colors, so one may be brown while the
other is green, for instance.
Normally, this is completely harmless thing, but if one of your eyes ever changes color, it’s time
to see the eye doctor.
It may be due to bleeding in the eye, glaucoma, or some other serious condition.
“Strokes, tumors on the brain or optic
nerve, multiple sclerosis, and syphillis
are just some of the disorders that can
affect the size of your pupils.”
There are some eye conditions, like a sudden change in eye color, that are easy to notice.
If that happens, it should be taken care of right away.
Usually, for instance, both pupils are the same size.
Now, some people do naturally have mismatched pupils, but for most of us, if one is bigger than
the other, it could be a sign that requires medical attention.
Strokes, tumors on the brain or optic nerve, multiple sclerosis, and syphillis are just some of the
disorders that can affect the size of your pupils.
If you look in the mirror and your eyelid is droopy, or your eye appears bloody, or yellowed, or
they appear to be bulging, take it to the doctor.
It might be nothing, or it could be a sign of problems with your eyes or elsewhere in your body.
Only Your Doctor Knows For Sure
The problems that are easily visible when you look into the mirror are often not the worst ones.
A comprehensive eye examination can literally be a life-saving procedure when it catches little
things before they become really big.
When your doctor shines a light into your eye, it’s probably uncomfortable for you, but that little
glance can reveal a whole lot.
Just a glimpse can get a good look at your optic nerve, at the fluids in your eye, and the state of
Your optic nerve is connected directly to your brain.
Just by observing the color of it, a doctor can see signs of an aneurysm, a brain tumor, or even
multiple sclerosis, long before any symptoms manifest.
The retina is packed with nerves and blood vessels, and it is the only place in the body where
they can be easily seen without surgery.
“A comprehensive eye examination can
literally be a life-saving procedure when
it catches little things before they
become really big.”
Certain diseases like hypertension or diabetes causes blood vessel damage, which is normally
very hard to find at that stage, except through an eye exam.
A look at the retina can even reveal signs of AIDS.
Heart disease through arterial blockage can be very dangerous.
Imagine being able to find out well before a heart attack occurs that bits of cholesterol are
collecting in your bloodstream.
An eye exam can do that.
The tiny bits that make up these potential blockages appear in the retina.
Once these are detected, further work can be done to determine what steps to take next.
An eye exam can really change everything.
If you notice any changes in your eyes, you should get an examination as soon as possible,
but beyond that, a periodic appointment with the eye doctor can save you a lot of grief in
the long run.
It could even save your life!
About the author:
Emily Hunter crafts content on behalf of the eye surgeons at Eyecare 20/20 working for the Marketing Zen Group. She loves designing strategies with her team and is excited about spreading the Zen gospel. In her spare time, she cheers for Spirit of Atlanta, Carolina Crown and Phantom Regiment, creates her own sodas, and crushes tower defense games. Follow her on Twitter at @Emily2Zen
Are you keeping an eye on your eyes?
Did you know that your eyes are the window to your health?
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