Updated: Nov 30, 2020
Most people have no idea that optometrists check more than your prescription for glasses or contacts. If you go to a reputable eye clinic, they will evaluate the health of the eyes during your exam.
Did you know that eye doctors can view your blood vessels inside your body directly during a routine exam?
During the eye health portion of the exam, your optometrist will be looking out for dozens, if not hundreds of eye problems and general health problems that can rob you of your sight, but also of your life.
Some of the most common health problems that optometrists can detect on a basic eye exam include the following:
Diabetes: Diabetes can affect the small blood vessels so when we are evaluating the retina, we might see bleeding, blocked blood vessels, and swelling.
High Blood Pressure: High blood pressure (Hypertension) can also cause bleeding, hemorrhaging and swelling in the retina.
Stroke: People with strokes (cerebrovascular accidents) can either lose vision in a certain way (blindness on a portion or one half of the visual field), but can also lose function of their eye movements, causing double vision or difficulty with reading.
Cancer: There are many common tumors in the eyes and on the eyelids that are evident with basic eye exam testing.
Inflammatory Conditions/Autoimmune Conditions: The detection of common health problems like arthritis might actually begin with eye examinations because in some cases, the inflammation can affects the eyes before other parts of the body.
In summary, when you go to the eye doctor and think that you are there to get a prescription, you are probably getting a whole lot more.
As optometrists, our goals are to improve the way you function through the use of certain lenses, contact lenses or vision therapy, but we also take your sight very seriously and do what ever we can to detect serious eye conditions, health conditions that can steal your sight or rob your life!
Please don't wait until there's vision loss or your body breaks down further.