We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again… taking care of your body is synonymous to taking care of your eyes!
Your eyes may be the window to the soul, but perhaps even more importantly, they can be a window to your overall health. But when you think of being healthy, your eyes probably aren’t the first things that come to mind. As it turns out, your vision and overall health are more entwined than you think!
Routine Eye Exams Help Detect Disease Early
The earlier a disease is diagnosed, the better the chances of successfully treating and managing it. For example, early detection of eye diseases such as cataracts, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration can save vision.
While it’s to be expected that a routine eye exam detects eye conditions, you may be surprised to hear that your optometrist can see a lot more than vision problems when he or she looks into your eyes. In a comprehensive eye exam, we can detect a variety of health conditions including:
- High cholesterol
- Liver problems
- Autoimmune disorders
In fact, many of these health conditions show up in your eyes before you start having other physical symptoms. That is why your optometrist is often a first line of defense against many diseases, and why getting routine eye exams is so important. Just as you go to your doctor for a yearly physical, make sure to get a regular eye exam as recommended by your optometrist!
Your Overall Health Affects Your Vision
Many of the diseases we just listed can have serious consequences for your eyes, and could even lead to vision loss if not properly managed. A prime example of this is diabetes, which can lead to diabetic retinopathy. Those with diabetes are also 40 percent more likely to suffer from glaucoma and 60 percent more likely to get cataracts. In addition, high blood pressure and high cholesterol can cause damage to the eyes’ blood vessels.
To learn more about diabetic retinopathy, watch the video below:
Your Health Matters To Us
The take home message is this: your eyes and the rest of your body are connected. Just as your eyes can give us a glimpse into your overall health, certain health conditions have a negative effect on your vision.
As your eye health care providers, we care more than just about making sure your prescription is correct. So, to protect both your eyes and the rest of your body, focus on overall health and wellness. Eat a nutritious diet, maintain a healthy weight and get plenty of exercise. And remember, your health matters to us!