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Eyes Are The Window To Your… Heart?

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Your eyes are the window to the soul, but did you know that they can also be a window into the health of your entire body?

Eye exams are of course essential for updating your eyeglasses and contact lens prescription, as well as diagnosing and treating potentially sight-threatening eye diseases and conditions. But these exams can also be an essential part of detecting systemic diseases that affect the whole body.

Eye Exams and Detecting Heart Problems

One of the most common types of issues eye doctors can find warning signs of as part of a routine comprehensive eye exam is heart problems, including diagnosing a person’s risk of aneurysm and heart attack. This is because routine eye exams include checking the small blood vessels in the eye, which are often some of the first blood vessels in the body to show blockages and damage to the vascular system that could mean trouble elsewhere.

So, what does your eye doctor look for that may indicate whole-body issues? Signs of impending heart attack or aneurysm may include:

  • Blockages in the small blood vessels of the eye, including in the macula and retina.
  • Changes in the diameter of the blood vessels
  • Thickness in the wall of blood vessels

Heart and vascular problems are just one example of the many systemic issues your eye doctor can discover as part of your comprehensive eye exam. Others include diabetes, brain tumors, high blood pressure or cholesterol and lupus.

So, even if you think your eyesight is just fine, a comprehensive eye exam may be important for you for an entirely different reason altogether. This year, your annual eye exam may just save your life.

At New Era Eyecare, we put your family's needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 703-830-3977 or book an appointment online to see one of our Clifton eye doctors.

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FAQ

What signs of high blood pressure can eye doctors see during an eye exam?

During a routine comprehensive eye exam, your eye doctor may be able to detect high blood pressure by noting the thickening of small blood vessels in your eye. They may also note damage to the blood vessels that result in bleeding and blurry vision. If not caught early, high blood pressure can result in sight loss and even blindness.

What tests would an eye doctor perform to detect diabetes during an eye exam?

Eye doctors may perform a number of tests in order to check for evidence of diabetes during a comprehensive eye exam. These tests may include dilation of the eye. Among the most common tests are a slit-lamp test, ophthalmoscopy and optical coherence tomography.