It’s widely accepted that going in for your yearly physical is crucial for detecting serious problems, but many people fail to apply this mentality to their yearly eye exam. It’s a shame considering regular eye exams can help detect a number of devastating health conditions, many of which are treatable if found early. What’s even more interesting is that going in for your yearly eye exam can detect other physical conditions in addition to eye issues.
1. Retinal problems
A retinal detachment can be catastrophic if ignored. If they are not treated immediately, retinal detachments can result in permanent blindness. Retinal tears typically precede retinal detachments, but aside from floaters, there are no serious symptoms that accompany tears. Tears can go unnoticed until the retina detaches. As a result, it is hard to just “feel” or “know” that there is a problem with your retina. An ophthalmologist can take a look at your eye and determine whether there are any tears. If your ophthalmologist catches the problem when it is only a tear, they can address the problem with a simpler procedure as opposed to the more complicated work needed to fix a detachment.
Glaucoma is another tricky eye disease that can lead to blindness despite a lack of symptoms. Vision problems are caused by damage to the optic nerve. If left untreated, the damage can become so extensive that it is impossible to save a person’s vision. The main – but not only – cause of glaucoma is built up pressure called intraocular pressure. The difficulty is that this pressure rarely results in any noticeable symptoms like pain or discomfort, meaning a person may not be aware they have glaucoma until their vision has regressed past the point of no return. Regular eye exams allow your doctor to check for any damage to the optic nerve. They can also detect any built-up pressure and start treating you to prevent permanent damage.
Blood vessels in the eye can leak fluids or blood if a person has diabetes. An eye doctor would notice this during an eye exam and know the root cause. If the patient is undiagnosed, this eye exam would give them the vital information they need about their body to be proactive about their health and well-being. Diabetes, if left unmanaged, can lead to kidney failure or blindness among other devastating consequences.
4. High cholesterol
A yellowish appearance around the corneas is a possible sign of high cholesterol. Plaque in a person’s retinal blood vessels is also a sign that they suffer from high cholesterol. High cholesterol is one of those problems people are often hesitant to address. Even though it has the chance of leading to deadly problems like a heart attack, it does not carry the urgency people need to feel in order to make drastic lifestyle changes. Noticing that it is having a visible effect on their eyes may help some people make a necessary transition.
Getting a yearly eye exam is a win-win situation. Either everything is fine and you get to go home with a clean bill of health and renewed peace of mind or you catch a small issue before it becomes a big problem. Whether it’s to confirm your good health or guide you through a treatment process, our specialists and dedicated staff at Eye Associates of Tallahassee are here to help you with all of your eye care needs.