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The Importance of an Eye Exam

By Melissa Gutierrez
Posted On Apr 11, 2016
The Importance of an Eye Exam

It has been said that the eyes are the windows to the soul. Well, according to some medical studies, eyes also offer up glimpses into the not so romantic world of diabetes and high blood pressure.

FYI- a routine eye exam is important regardless of age and physical health. Your eye doctor is doing more than just determining your prescription for those cute Tory Burch reading glasses. (PS guys totally dig the librarian look, so wear them proudly). Your ophthalmologist is also checking for eye disease and evaluating the eyes as indicators of overall health.

Many of us opt for a visit to the eye doctor when we experience a refractive error- nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism. So, we make an appointment because we know these problems are easily corrected with eyeglasses or contacts.

But, eye wellness goes way beyond your vision. Eye diseases such as glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy have no symptoms in the early stages. However, a regular eye checkup will allow your doctor to check for early signs, which can help reduce the risk of permanent vision loss.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock
Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Furthermore, the eye’s blood vessels and retina can hold indicators of other diseases such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and other problems. For instance, diabetes can cause small blood vessels to leak and bleeding in the eye, as well as swelling of the macula.

According to allaboutvision.com, an estimated one-third of Americans have diabetes and don’t even know it?! Have to make those eye appointment!

We tend to place eye doctors in the same category that we do that heinous cardigan, in the back of our closet for the day we run out of clean clothes, but eye doctors need to be in the frontline. These physicians are frequently the first health providers to detect signs of chronic systemic conditions. They’re the ones to first detect signs of high cholesterol, 65% of the time, diabetes, 20% of the time, and hypertension, 30% of the time.

So, what do you think about making that appointment now?