Using the Eyes to Detect Diseases

eye-detect-200The eyes are not just the mirrors of our souls – they also reflect many of our diseases. Because they are the only place in the body where you can easily see blood vessels and even part of the brain via the optic nerve, they can be used to detect a number of diseases.

A large study of 120,000 people by the insurance company, VSP Vision Care, found that 34% of diabetes patients first found out about their disease from an eye exam. High blood pressure was also first detected this way in 39% of cases and high cholesterol in 62% of cases.

Red spots were a sign of diabetes in some cases. Blurry vision sometimes indicated high blood pressure that required urgent attention. White rings around the eyes or yellowish bumps on the eyelids were signs of high cholesterol. Of course all of these symptoms can be signs of other conditions, but eye doctors (ophthalmologists) and optometrists are trained to help identify the real cause and make recommendations for further examinations.

The symptoms of over 30 conditions can appear in the eyes, so regular eye examinations are highly recommended. The need for regular eye exams becomes even more important if you are over 40 years of age.

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