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Health Problems That Can Be Discovered During an Eye Exam

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It is highly recommend that you have your eyes checked at least twice a year. You never know if your eyesight is deteriorating slowly, and by the time you realize it, it is too late to rectify the problem. However, what you might not realize is that an eye exam can also uncover other health problems that you may be facing. It is quite regrettable that most people put off going to their eye doctor for a checkup on a regular basis, because their eye related and other ailments are not diagnosed as a result. So, what are the health problems that can be discovered during an eye exam?

You should keep in mind that the optometrist or ophthalmologist you are visiting is a qualified doctor and has the experience and expertise to diagnose a wide range of ailments. Therefore, there is a good chance that your checkup might result in you receiving a referral to a specialist who will treat the health problems you are facing. To make this easier for you to understand, here’s a look at some health problems your eye doctor might be able to diagnose:


Diabetes is among the most common causes of eyesight related problems. The reason for this is that the capillaries in your retina start leaking, emitting a yellowish fluid or even blood. If your eye doctor discovers this during your eye exam, he/she will ask you to get tested for diabetes, as this is a clear symptom of diabetic retinopathy.

Autoimmune Disorders

Inflammation in the eyes can be caused by autoimmune disorders. Lupus in particular has this effect on your eyes. During an eye exam, if your eyes show signs of inflammation, your eye doctor may ask you to be tested for autoimmune disorders.

Thyroid Disease

Thyroid disease is a fairly common health problem. One of the major symptoms of thyroid diseases is that your eyeballs start protruding outwards, leading to a bulging appearance. Also called Graves’ disease, early diagnosis is the key to effective treatment.

Hypertension and High Cholesterol

If there is a buildup of plaque in the arteries and veins in the retina, it could indicate high blood cholesterol levels. Moreover, if the cornea appears yellowish, it could also mean that you have high cholesterol. On the flipside, any bends or tears in your eyes can be a sign of hypertension.


If the pupils of your eyes are shaped irregularly, or your eyelids are dropping, this could mean that you have a tumor in the neck. These symptoms can also indicate an aneurysm.

There are several other health problems that can be discovered during an eye exam, even including cancer. All you have to do is make sure you visit your eye doctor for a checkup at least twice a year. As you can see, an eye exam can uncover some major health issues which might otherwise go undiagnosed and hence, their effect will exacerbate over time.

Written by Total Focus

At Total Focus Optometry, we’ve spent the last 70 years building meaningful relationships with our patients and their families. From routine eye exams to contact lens fittings we offer our patients a variety of services to meet their eye care needs.

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