8 Major Health Problems That an Eye Exam Can Detect

8 Major Health Problems That an Eye Exam Can Detect

8 Major Health Problems That an Eye Exam Can Detect

8 Major Health Problems That an Eye Exam Can Detect

October 25, 2022

Your eyes are windows that can provide a clearer view of your overall health. Eye doctors can detect numerous health problems during a comprehensive eye exam. Some of these conditions may be undetectable by routine tests in their early stages. 


The eyes can show early signs of many health conditions due to their delicate structures. These structures include the blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue. Early detection of health problems is critical to preventing severe outcomes. 


When you undergo your annual comprehensive eye exam, your eye doctor will carefully examine your eyes for signs of diseases affecting other areas of your body. Some of the health problems a comprehensive eye exam can detect include:


High Blood Pressure


Sometimes, bleeding in the eye can result from sneezing or coughing too hard. In such cases, the bleeding is harmless. However, high blood pressure can also cause bleeding when a tiny blood vessel breaks and leaks blood in the white part of your eye.


Hypertension can also cause some swelling in the eye. Chronic hypertension can cause retinal arteries to stiffen, causing your eyes to bulge when pressed against a blood vessel.




Millions of Americans live with diabetes. Unfortunately, many people do not realize they have this condition, leading to severe complications. Your eye doctor can identify diabetes by examining your eyes during a routine comprehensive eye exam. 


A condition called diabetic retinopathy causes damage to retinal blood vessels. If your eye doctor discovers signs of diabetic retinopathy, you should consult your primary physician as soon as possible. 




A comprehensive eye exam can help detect tissue, skin, and blood cancer. These forms of cancer often present signs that an eye doctor can spot during a comprehensive exam. Your eye doctor might be able to advise you whether to consult your primary physician about a cancer screening. 


Heart Disease


There is a connection between the health of your eyes and the health of your heart. A comprehensive eye exam can detect various cardiovascular issues, such as clogged arteries and ischemia, even before you realize a problem exists. 


High Cholesterol


Besides detecting evidence of high blood pressure, an eye exam can also discover high cholesterol. Signs of high cholesterol include having a yellow or blue ring around the cornea and deposits in the retinal blood vessels. Sometimes, eye doctors may tell if a patient is on the brink of having a stroke due to high cholesterol. 


Multiple Sclerosis


MS is a relatively rare condition, but it is a crippling disorder that can take a heavy toll on you. Eye doctors are often the first medical professionals to spot signs of this neurological disorder developing in the body. People with multiple sclerosis usually experience inflammation in the optic nerve, which can cause double vision, blurriness, and difficulty moving the eyes.




You could have dry eyes or an inflammatory condition called lupus if your eyes often feel dry. One of the telltale signs of this disease is swelling in the white part of the eye. Lupus is an autoimmune disorder that causes the body to attack healthy tissues. 


Rheumatoid Arthritis


One of the most painful forms of arthritis is rheumatoid arthritis. It can cause your body to attack healthy tissues, leading to inflammation in many areas of your body, including your joints. One of the areas people with RA experience the most pain is the eyes. Eye redness and inflammation in the white parts of your eyes may be signs of RA. 


So, it is best to undergo a comprehensive eye exam regularly. Your eye doctor will perform a battery of tests that could potentially spot signs of a significant health problem. Comprehensive eye exams can give you peace of mind regarding your eyes and overall health.


For more eye care tips, visit Maine Coast Eye Care at our Rockport, Maine office. Call 207-887-0022 to schedule an appointment today.

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