Eye doctor can detect signs of high blood pressure before any other healthcare provider 39% of the time. Moreover, the doctor also can detect high cholesterol 62% of the time before a healthcare provide and diabetes 34% of the time. Early detection is critical and an eye exam may offer the first warning signs. The eyes are only place within the body that provides a view of blood vessels without any incisions. Through an eye exam the eye doctor can view your blood vessels and identify signs and symptoms of disease progression before any physical symptoms develop. A long list of conditions can be identified through an eye exam and it includes heart disease.
In fact, the eye is one of the only areas of the body where doctors have an unobstructed view of blood vessels. A full eye examination may reveal the first signs of serious heart conditions, including high blood pressure-before symptoms show up elsewhere in the body. And if not managed effectively, many of these cardiovascular conditions can lead to vision loss, too. Known as the "silent" disease because its victims often lack symptoms, high blood pressure affects about one in three adults in the United States-while more than one in five people don't even know they have it.However, a comprehensive eye exam may uncover early signs of cardiovascular disease.Your eye doctor can check for subtle changes in the retina that result from high blood pressure, a condition called hypertensive retinopathy. If your eye doctor sees these changes, he or she can refer you to your primary care physician, who can recommend further testing and treatment.
You may think that you need an eye exam that your prescription may be have changed. However, an eye exam will check more than just eye healthy. Comprehensive eye exams play an important role in your overall wellness, and you should get one every year for optimal vision health. Besides measuring your vision, regular eye exams can help identify early signs of certain chronic health conditions, including high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and high cholesterol. Optometrists or ophthalmologists can detect early signs of heart disease during preventive eye exams. Through careful examination of the retina, your eye doctor can view small changes in the blood vessels in the back of the eye, which can indicate more serious systemic disease. Due to their enormous demand for oxygen, tiny retinal blood vessels can be easily damaged by high blood pressure.In fact, the eye is the only area on the body where doctors can get an unobstructed view of blood vessels in the human body. More and more research is showing that the type and severity of changes in the retina can be predictors for intensity of cardiovascular disease including stroke, high blood pressure and even heart failure. Recent advancements such as digital retinal imaging allow your eye doctor to quickly and painlessly detect and monitor blood flow in your retina.