Why I Visit My Eye Doctor Other Than Vision Health

Vision Health Eye Exam

I’ve talked a lot about my vision health over the last couple of years or so. In fact, I did an entire post about how I protect my eyesight just over a year ago. I just found out that May is Healthy Vision Month so, since I like this topic so much, I’m going to take another chance to discuss it.  This time, from something interesting I learned recently, at my latest eye doctor appointment.

Your Optometrist Knows More than Just Vision Health

Vision health is definitely the top reason to go to an eye doctor.  They are, after all, EYE doctors. That said, the checkup you get every couple of years from an optometrist can detect a number of important points about your overall health, including early indications of other conditions such as diabetes.

An eye doctor will be looking for those conditions whether you realize it or not. After all, they want you to be well, but many of these conditions can impact your vision health indirectly.  For instance, diabetes may not seem like an eye disease, but they can lead to serious diseases like ocular retinopathy. That’s something you don’t want to mess around with, or you could end up going blind! But if it’s spotted early, there’s a lot you can do to prevent it.

The eye also offers a lot of insight that wouldn’t be available elsewhere on the body without actually cutting you open.  With a view of the retina – a test available at essentially every eye doctor’s office – your doctor can take a close-up view of your nerves and blood vessels completely painlessly. Yes, that’s important to vision health, but seeing your blood vessels and nerves can help make sure you’re healthy in many other ways, too.

What Else Can Your Eye Doctor Can Spot?

Some of the conditions your eye doctor may be able to spot while checking your vision health can include the following.

  • Cancer – Signs of many cancers can spread to the eye, including lung and breast cancers and brain tumors. Signs of leukemia or malignant melanoma can also appear in the eye. Spotting it early could save your life. Some don’t change the way you see at all, so you may have no idea.
  • Diabetes – The retina offers one of the first clues of the onset of type 2 diabetes.
  • High blood pressure – The blood vessels in the eye can show signs of high blood pressure, including if the arteries are weakening and narrowing.
  • Multiple sclerosis – Inflammation of the optic nerve, called optic neuritis, can be one of the signs of MS.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis – Dry eye and/or painful iris inflammation (iritis) are common signs of RA.

So, while I’ve been taking VISIPRO all this time, I’m apparently going to my optometrist for a lot more than just my vision health. Worth sharing. Take care of yourself, bro.

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