If there was a relatively simple exam that could help your doctor detect or prevent a wide range of serious health problems, you probably wouldn’t hesitate to schedule an appointment. Many people don’t know that routine eye exams provide vital information about their overall health and half of all Americans opt-out of their annual eye doctor visit. Eye exams can be just as effective as a physical at detecting the early stages of certain health problems. If caught early, many of these conditions can be treated more effectively or even prevented. Here are some health problems that eye exams can detect.
The effects of diabetes can be seen throughout the body, but your eye doctor may be able to detect the disease by examining the blood vessels in the back of your eyes. An early indicator of diabetic retinopathy, a symptom of diabetes, is a small amount of retinal bleeding or yellowish discharge. If this condition is diagnosed and treated early, healthy lifestyle changes can help you prevent further eye damage including blindness.
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Eye exams are an effective way to detect optic neuritis, a disease linked to multiple sclerosis. Optic neuritis is an inflammation of the optic nerve and can be the first symptom many of those with the condition may experience. Although some people with multiple sclerosis have vision loss, eye pain, or reduced color vision, many have no symptoms at all. If optic neuritis leads to a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis, prompt treatment can lessen or reduce the symptoms.
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