We all know the saying “the eyes are the window to the soul”. But for your ophthalmologist, eyes are also windows to the live action of blood vessels, connective tissues, and nerves throughout the entire body. Issues spotted in the eye can often be the first indications of health problems elsewhere in the body. Here are 5 surprising conditions eye doctors can detect during a comprehensive eye exam:
Leaky yellow fluid or blood in the tiny blood vessels in the retina can be a sign of diabetic retinopathy. These symptoms can appear in eye tissue even before someone has a diagnosis with diabetes. Early detection can help people avoid serious complications, including vision loss.
A yellow or blue ring around the cornea may be a sign of high cholesterol, which can lead to a stroke. Deposits in the blood vessels of the retina can also indicate elevated cholesterol.
The retina’s blood vessels sometimes contain clots or blockages. These blockages can cause sudden blind spots that can seem like a blanket dropping over a person’s vision. These can be indications of an increased risk for stroke. A loss of side vision may also be a warning of brain damage caused by a previous stroke.
Protruding eyeballs and retracting eyelids can be indications of hyperthyroidism. This happens when the thyroid gland produces too many or not enough hormones. Sometimes this coincides with dry eyes, blurry vision or vision loss.
Cancers of blood, tissue or skin
Numerous cancers can be found during a detailed eye exam. Skin cancers affect the eyelids and outer surfaces of the eye. The most common types of skin cancers are basal cell, squamous cell and melanoma. Leukemia and lymphoma can also affect the interior aspect of the eye. Tumors in the breast and other areas can spread to the ocular structures.
Eye exams can benefit your overall health. That’s why it’s important to learn about a Vision Plan through ASBA.