5 reasons why an eye exam is important to your overall health


An eye exam is much more than a checkup on how well you can see. It’s an evaluation of the healthiness of your eyes. Consider five reasons why an eye exam is important to your overall health as featured in Reader’s Digest.

Eye exam

During the exam, the eye doctor carefully looks at the retina, located in the back of the eye. This is the only area of the body where blood vessels and nerves can be studied without cutting them open. Through close-up analysis, doctors can detect signs of serious medical issues, often at an early stage. Consider five health concerns that can be discovered before it’s too late:

  1. High blood pressure – Scientists believe people with small, narrow blood vessels in the retina are at higher risk for high blood pressure and heart disease. Many of these individuals do not have traditional heart disease risk factors.
  2. Diabetes – A small amount of bleeding in the retina could be an indicator of type 2 diabetes. A complication of the disease is diabetic retinopathy. If not treated, the condition can cause blindness. However, if caught early and treated quickly, the risk for blindness is cut in half.
  3. Cancer – There are several symptoms of cancer that can be detected at an early stage in the eye. Bleeding in the retina can be an indicator of leukemia or malignant melanoma. The later attacks the back of the eye causing changes in the field of vision and can create brain tumors.
  4. Rheumatoid arthritis – Often people with rheumatoid arthritis, known as RA, have high levels of inflammatory chemicals in their blood, which can travel to the eyes and joints. About one-fourth of people diagnosed with RA experience dry eyes or a painful inflammation of the iris, called iritis.
  5. Multiple sclerosis – This degenerative disease affects the nervous system, and may be detected by an inflammation of the optic nerve, called optic neuritis.

Vision care and eye strain

Eye strain has become a significant health problem for American workers. Many people spend at least two hours a day viewing computer screens and digital devices. Read this blog to learn symptoms of this condition and the value of vision insurance in maintaining your eyesight and overall health.