eye exam

5 Hidden Health Issues that an Eye Exam can Uncover

As you hopefully already know, getting regular comprehensive eye exams is the best way to maintain good overall eye health.  But what you may not know, is that it is a vital procedure you should incorporate into your regular health maintenance routine.  The reason being, not only can an eye exam detect vision disorders and conditions, but it can also provide important clues as to the presence of some other serious health issues.  Often times, this gives you the opportunity to take essential early action toward treatment.  Here are some health issues our eye exam can detect:



According to the American Diabetes Association, 34.2 million Americans had diabetes in 2018.  In 2017 it was the seventh leading cause of death in the US.  However, millions of people go undiagnosed and do not receive the treatment they need.  An eye exam offers the chance of early detection, as it allows your eye doctor to look for changes the blood vessels in the back of your eye – a clear indicator of diabetes.



Many forms of cancer can be detected in an eye exam.  For example, dark spots at the back of the eye can be an indicator of melanoma.  Likewise, retinal bleeding can be a sign of leukemia.  Even a common symptom like blurred vision can indicate brain cancer, if other causes are eliminated.  Regular eye exams can help your eye doctor detect any abnormalities quickly, allowing you to seek medical treatment as early as possible.


Thyroid Disease

Hyperthyroidism can be caused by a condition called Graves disease, which can affect the eyes.  Symptoms such as bulging eyes, puffiness or redness, eye pain or light sensitivity can all be indicators and should be taken seriously, as it can lead to vision loss if not treated.


Blood Pressure Issue

High blood pressure, or hypertension, affects millions of adults in the US and many struggle to get it under control.  Untreated, it can cause serious medical issues, including death, so proper diagnosis is important.  During an eye exam, abnormalities in the blood vessels in the back of the eye can signal high blood pressure.  Additionally, it can also be characterized by blurry vision or spots on the retina.  Hypertension issues can escalate quickly, affecting both your vision and other vital organs, so it is important to seek treatment as early as possible.


High Cholesterol

High cholesterol is a problem for a large percentage of the population, but it often goes undetected.  One telltale sign of high cholesterol during an eye exam can be a colored ring around the cornea.  Additional signs can include yellow fatty deposits on the eyelids or around the eyes, or the presence of plaque in the retinal vessels.


It is important to remember that many medical conditions, like those mentioned above, can start with mild or no symptoms.  But when they go undiagnosed or untreated, they can quickly become serious or even life-threatening issues.  Visiting your eye doctor regularly for your regular comprehensive eye exam, even if you are not experiencing any obvious vision issues, is an extremely important part of maintaining good overall health.  The doctors at the Family Vision Development Center believe in a one-on-one approach that focuses on the whole health of our patients.  We look forward to caring for your whole family in our comfortable, professional environment.  Call us at 630-862-2020 to make your appointment or learn more.


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