Eye Exams Can Now Identify Serious Diseases

The windows to the soul can provide physicians with an extraordinary look at your overall health. Diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol are all diseases that eye care specialists can detect from an eye exam.

While an optometrist or an ophthalmologist can discover problems with vision during a routine eye exam, they can also uncover the presence of a disease that you may not even be aware you have. Symptoms of diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, glaucoma, and many other eye diseases and potentially serious health problems can be found when an eye care specialist looks at the cornea and blood flow to the retina during an eye exam.

For diabetics in particular, an eye exam is a necessary tool to check for cataracts, retinopathy, and glaucoma.

Nearly three-and-a-half million Americans over the age of 40 have some form of visual impairment such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, cloudy or blurred vision, and even blindness. As we age, it becomes increasingly important to have routine eye exams, as not only vision disorders but general health risks become more likely. People between the ages of 20 and 39 should have a check-up every three-to-five years; people between the ages of 40 and 64 should see the eye doctor every two-to-four years; and those over the age of 65 should have their eyes checked every one-to-two years. In addition, those who suffer from diabetes, glaucoma or a family history of glaucoma, or AIDS/HIV should schedule regular eye exams as an essential tool in the early detection of serious vision problems.

A routine exam from an ophthalmologist or an optometrist is a quick and painless way of keeping a close eye on both your visual and your overall health.

By Tom Hall

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