Your eyes give you a window into your health. While you can’t always be aware of the symptoms of chronic diseases, your eyes can be the first sign of a serious condition. Fortunately, you can see these signs to make an informed decision about your health. According to the clinical spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology, Natasha Herz, MD, your eyes can reveal some of the earliest signs of a variety of ailments.
Eye exams can detect early signs of chronic diseases
Your annual eye examination can detect early signs of several chronic diseases. Certain diseases can impact your eyes, such as high blood pressure and certain types of cancer. Your eye doctor can also look for symptoms of multiple sclerosis, a disorder characterized by multiple bouts of iris inflammation and optic neuritis. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, schedule an appointment with an eye doctor as soon as possible. Many eye conditions, from allergies to high cholesterol, can be detected with an eye exam.
Routine eye exams can also detect the early symptoms of many other health issues. In one study, a large group of people learned about their chronic disease through an eye exam. While no other claims-based evidence was used to support this claim, the early detection of diseases resulted in lower costs for their first year of health plan coverage, fewer missed work days, and a lower termination rate. A comprehensive eye health exam can not only detect early signs of disease but can also save money through referrals.
They can detect signs of autoimmune diseases
Various autoimmune diseases can affect the eyes. Some of them include multiple sclerosis and Lupus. These conditions can result in inflammation of the optic nerve, a crucial part of your vision. Patients may experience pain and blurred vision, especially at night, or watery eyes. These symptoms can be gradual or sudden. Fortunately, it is possible to find early signs of autoimmune disease in your eye.
Symptoms of autoimmune diseases may include changes in vision, eye pressure, eye appearance, and comfort. As a result, they can be a warning sign. If you notice any changes in your vision, consult with your eye care provider as soon as possible. In many cases, autoimmune diseases will require additional testing or medication. Your eye care provider can help you detect autoimmune diseases in the early stages. They can also refer you to specialists for further examination.
They can detect signs of heart disease
Your eyes are important for several reasons, from preventing blindness to identifying health problems. Your eyes can detect a variety of conditions, including heart disease. Your retina can detect signs of ischemia, or reduced blood flow, in your heart, which can lead to sudden, painless loss of vision or loss of focus in one or both eyes. It may also be a symptom of diabetes, high blood pressure, or a nutritional deficiency. If you suspect any of these conditions, it is crucial to see a doctor.
Optical coherence tomography (OCT) scans can detect lesions in the retina, which is the light-sensitive layer of the eye. During these scans, physicians can examine for plaque and blood clots. If the retinal artery becomes blocked, this is an early sign of heart disease, indicating that it is at risk for stroke. The resulting images are called retinal artery occlusion (ROI) and are useful for detecting a variety of heart problems.
They can detect signs of cancer
A number of tests are available to diagnose cancer in your eye. A doctor will ask about your symptoms and examine your vision. They may use a magnifying lens to examine your eye and may perform imaging scans such as an ultrasound or an MRI. They may also perform a biopsy to take tissue from the growth. A biopsy can reveal whether your eye cancer is cancerous or not. In some cases, a doctor will recommend chemotherapy or other treatments if they suspect it is cancerous.
The best way to detect eye cancer early is to get regular examinations. Sometimes, a tumor can be so small that it won’t cause many problems. However, some cancers can cause permanent damage to your eyes, and your healthcare provider may recommend surgery to remove part of the eye or the entire eye. However, be careful about this treatment option. High-energy beams used in radiation treatments can kill cancer cells but can damage healthy cells.