Your eyes are the window to your health. Comprehensive eye exams can detect vision problems and uncover early signs of serious medical conditions. That’s because the eyes are the only body part where blood vessels and nerves are visible without making an incision.
Blood vessels and tissues behind the lenses can reveal the state of many organs and body systems. An eye exam can often detect abnormalities that indicate an underlying medical condition, making it a valuable tool for monitoring our general health.
The American Optometric Association says comprehensive eye exams should be done every two years for adults aged 18-64 and annually for those over 65. Call us at Eye Care Associates in Flagstaff to schedule a comprehensive eye exam today.
What are Some Diseases That Can Be Detected During an Eye Exam?
- Diabetes: High blood sugar levels can damage the blood vessels in the retina, leading to diabetic retinopathy. An eye exam can detect this condition in its early stages and prevent blindness.
- High Blood Pressure: Abnormalities in blood vessels in the retina may indicate high blood pressure.
- Cardiovascular Disease: An eye exam can detect clots in the blood vessels, indicating the potential for cardiovascular disease.
- High Cholesterol: Yellowish deposits in the eye may indicate high cholesterol levels, which can lead to heart disease.
- Stroke: An eye exam can detect signs of a stroke, such as changes in the retina, blood vessels, and nerve fibers.
- Brain Tumors: Swelling in the optic nerve can indicate a brain tumor. An eye exam can detect this early, allowing for prompt medical attention.
- Multiple Sclerosis: Optic neuritis, inflammation of the optic nerve, can be detected, which can be a sign of multiple sclerosis.
- Thyroid Disease: Changes in eye movement and bulging eyes may be signs of thyroid disease.
- Sickle Cell Anemia: Changes in the retina, indicating sickle cell anemia, can be discovered during a comprehensive eye exam.
- Lupus: Lupus, an autoimmune disease that can cause damage to various organs, including the eyes.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis: Rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease that can cause dry eye, inflammation, and scleritis.
- Lyme Disease: Lyme disease, a bacterial infection that can cause inflammation in the eye.
- HIV/AIDS: Eye exams can detect HIV/AIDS, a viral infection that can cause retinal damage and vision loss.
- Tuberculosis: Tuberculosis, a bacterial infection that can cause inflammation in the eye.
- Leukemia: Leukemia, a type of cancer that affects the blood cells and can cause retinal hemorrhages.
- Melanoma: Melanoma, a type of skin cancer that can spread to the eye.
- Glaucoma: Glaucoma is an eye condition that can cause blindness. An eye exam can detect glaucoma early and prevent vision loss.
- Cataracts: Cataracts, a clouding of the eye's lens that can cause vision loss.
- Macular Degeneration: An eye exam can detect macular degeneration. This condition causes vision loss in the central part of the retina.
- Retinal Detachment: Retinal detachment, a condition where the retina pulls away from the eye's tissue.
What Does A Comprehensive Eye Exam Include?
Comprehensive eye exams consist of several tests that evaluate different aspects of your eye health, such as:
- How well you can see at various distances.
- The refractive error of your eyes, which helps determine if you need glasses or contact lenses.
- How well your eyes move and work together.
In addition to detecting these 20 diseases, comprehensive eye exams can also detect other eye problems such as dry eye syndrome, eye infections, and eye injuries.
Regular eye exams are crucial for identifying potential risk factors for a wide range of eye problems and systemic health issues.
Call us at Eye Care Associates in Flagstaff to schedule a comprehensive eye exam today.
The Office is open from 8am-5pm Monday-Friday.
The Optical Department is open from 9am-5pm Monday-Friday.