The American Optometric Association recommends a yearly eye exam for all adults. Do you know why? The eyes are literally windows to our overall health and wellness. Not only do they offer a bird’s eye view of basic vision health—gazing into your peepers presents a reflection of the arteries, nerves, and veins in the rest of the body, which can help the early diagnosis of many common health issues. For instance, via the eyes doctors and optometrists can diagnose glaucoma (increased pressure in the eye), as well as high blood pressure, chronic inflammation, thyroid issues, diabetes, central nervous systems disorders, and even mental health issues that can otherwise go unnoticed until it’s too late.
Gaze into the eyes to get an overall view of your health…
Surprisingly, 22-million Americans suffer with undiagnosed diabetes, according to 2014 statistics from the American Diabetes Association (ADA). However, oftentimes it’s an eye exam that pinpoints the disease. The ADA says that when high blood sugar levels accumulate in blood vessels in the retina, proteins can leak into the macula (the area responsible for focus).
This explains why retinal damage and vision loss are so common among diabetic patients if oxygen and nutrients can’t reach the back of the eye. Luckily, if you go to your yearly eye exam, an eye doctor can identify the problem and refer you to your family physician to help manage blood sugar levels and prevent permanent vision damage.