It’s said ‘eyes are the windows to the soul’ but did you know they are also the portholes to your health?
Most people only visit an optometrist when they consider they need spectacles or need to upgrade the prescription of the spectacles they are wearing. A comprehensive eye examination, however, can reveal a lot more than whether – or not – you need glasses.
Eyesight often changes very gradually over time, and you may be unaware that you need a stronger prescription. However, apart from checking your vision and ruling out eye disorders such as glaucoma, cataracts or retinal problems, many diseases show symptoms in the eyes.
Your optometrist may detect:
• diabetes, which affects the small capillaries in the retina of the eyes
• hypertension which may be an indication of high blood pressure
• autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis
• high cholesterol is often revealed in the cornea of the eye
• thyroid disease
• colon polyps
• liver disease
• cancer which is known to appear on the eyelid and can spread to the brain through the eye – skin cancer too
• tumours of the neck or an aneurism
Should your optometrist diagnose any of these symptoms you will be referred to the relative medical practitioner.
Scientists have reported that an eye test could help save the lives of thousands of heart-attack patients each year. The test can reveal problems with blood vessels, an indication of cardiac disease.