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Can an Eye Exam Detect Disease?

May 15 2023
eye exam

You may already know that it’s important to get regular eye exams. But did you also know that your eyes can detect other health problems?

Your eyes actually mirror what’s going on in your body. This is why it’s important to have a comprehensive eye exam every year. Many diseases, including some forms of cancer and diabetes, can produce no symptoms in their early stages; but your optometrist has a good chance of detecting early signs of disease when you’re tested regularly.

Read on as an optometrist Lake Stevens, WA discusses how eye exams can detect early warning signs of disease.

Your Eyes Mirror Your Health

Your eyes contain a network of nerves, blood vessels, and membranes. And these structures receive their vital nutrients through the flow of blood that circulates throughout your body. This means major changes in your blood or how it circulates will show up in the blood vessels that feed your eyes. In like manner, your retina and cornea are affected by changes in the body, so they, too, can be indicators of health issues.

A comprehensive eye examination can help your optometrist detect many different types of health issues in the early stages. And as important as early detection is when disease develops, getting regular eye exams can help you get needed treatment early on.

Diseases Detected by an Eye Exam

1. Heart Disease

Early signs of heart disease can appear as marks on your retina. These are caused by stroke incidents, which may also be a symptom of heart disease. If you see marks or spots on your retina, you should get an eye exam as soon as possible. This is because the damage could be a symptom of heart disease and may require treatment. 

2. Diabetes

The blood vessels in your eyes can show signs of diabetes long before any other signs appear. High sugar levels in the blood can cause leaks in the small vessels of your retina. This is something a comprehensive eye exam will reveal.

3. High Cholesterol

Early signs of high cholesterol may appear as blue or yellow rings around the cornea. Also, when there’s too much cholesterol in the blood, deposits can form on the inside of your cornea.

4. High Blood Pressure

Bleeding, swelling or kinks in blood vessels at the back of your eye may be signs that you have high blood pressure. And high blood pressure is a known risk factor for macular degeneration—as well as glaucoma and other diseases of the eye.

If you have more questions or wish to schedule an eye wellness exam, please feel free to call us, your local optometrist Lake Stevens WA, anytime!

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Grandview Optometry


16616 Twin Lakes Ave
Marysville, WA 98271
(Inside Marysville/Smokey Point Costco)


Monday-Friday: 10:00am-6:30pm
Saturday:  9:30am-5:00pm
Sunday: Closed

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