13 Serious Health Problems That an Eye Exam Can Detect

13 Serious Health Problems That an Eye Exam Can Detect

13 Serious Health Problems That an Eye Exam Can Detect

13 Serious Health Problems That an Eye Exam Can Detect

13 Serious Health Problems That an Eye Exam Can Detect

An eye exam is not just about checking your vision or updating your prescription for glasses or contact lenses. It's also a crucial tool for detecting serious health problems that may otherwise go unnoticed. During an eye exam, your eye doctor can look for signs of various health conditions that can affect your eyes and your overall well-being. Here are some serious health problems that an eye exam can detect:

Can an Eye Exam Detect Diabetes?

An eye exam can help detect diabetes early on as it is one of the most common causes of blindness. If you're diagnosed with diabetes, it's important to take care of yourself by eating healthy foods, exercising regularly, and taking medication as prescribed by your doctor.

Can an Eye Exam Detect High Blood Pressure?

High blood pressure occurs when your heart pumps blood through arteries that are narrowed or stiffened by plaques, causing them to become narrower than they should be. High blood pressure can cause serious health issues like heart attack, stroke, and kidney disease if left untreated.
An eye exam can detect high blood pressure by looking at the retinal arteries in both eyes during an eye exam. If these arteries appear wider than normal due to high blood pressure, it could indicate serious underlying issues that need attention before they worsen.


Glaucoma increases pressure in the eye. If left untreated, it can cause blindness. A comprehensive eye exam can detect glaucoma early and help prevent vision loss from this disease.

Glaucoma has no warning signs or symptoms; you won't feel anything until irreversible damage has been done to your eyesight! That's why it's so important to schedule regular comprehensive eye exams with an optometrist or ophthalmologist every year--and more often if you're at risk for developing glaucoma (e.g., if you have high blood pressure). It's also important to protect yourself against further risk factors like UV exposure by wearing sunglasses outdoors when possible--and never driving without them!

Thyroid Disease

Thyroid disease can cause a variety of eye problems, including:

  • Eye sensitivity to light and glare

  • Dry eyes
  • Drooping eyelids (ptosis)

If you're experiencing any of these eye problems, don't assume that they are just part of getting older or are related to stress or lack of sleep--they may be signs of thyroid disease! An eye exam is one way your doctor can detect early signs of thyroid dysfunction before it becomes more serious.

Macular Degeneration

The macula helps you see fine detail and color. If you have macular degeneration, it may cause blurry vision or a blind spot in which you cannot see anything. This type of severe vision loss can be debilitating for people who rely on their eyesight for daily tasks such as reading, driving, and working at a computer.

Macular degeneration is most common among people over age 55, but younger adults can also develop it. It's estimated that about one in five Americans over 60 will develop some form of age-related vision loss due to macular degeneration or cataracts (another common eye disease).

Dry Eye Syndrome

Dry eye syndrome is a condition that causes your eyes to be dry, irritated, and painful. It can make it hard to read, drive or watch TV. Dryness of the eye can also cause blurred vision and sensitivity to light. The exact cause of dry eye syndrome isn't known, but it's thought that aging, allergies, or certain medications are factors in developing this problem.


Cataracts can lead to blindness if left untreated. An eye exam is one way to detect cataracts early so that you can start treatment before they cause problems. Cataract surgery is a common medical procedure today--about 2 million people have it yearly!

Marfan Syndrome

Marfan syndrome affects the connective tissue in the body. This can cause serious health problems, including:

  • Heart valve defects

  • Mitral valve prolapse )

  • Scoliosis (curvature of the spine)

In addition to these symptoms, people with Marfan syndrome can have eye problems like myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), astigmatism, or strabismus (eye misalignment). An eye exam can detect these issues before they become serious enough to require treatment.

Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

Multiple sclerosis (MS) can cause vision problems, including blindness. It causes inflammation and damage to the myelin sheath, which surrounds nerve fibers. It can be diagnosed with an eye exam during which your ophthalmologist will check for certain signs of the disease, such as optic neuritis (inflammation in one or more nerves of your eyes), retinal lesions (damage to blood vessels in your retina), or papilledema (swelling of the optic disc).


Uveitis can lead to blindness if not treated quickly. Symptoms include pain in your eyes, blurred vision or decreased vision in your eyes, redness around your iris, light sensitivity, floaters (sights that appear like little spots floating around), nausea, and vomiting.

If you have any of these symptoms, immediately visit an optometrist for an eye examination!

Eye Cancer

Eye cancer is a rare but serious condition, so it's important to know how to detect it early. Here are some signs of eye cancer:

  • A change in your vision or eye color

  • Pain in or around your eyes

  • Flashes or floaters (spots that look like little bugs flying around)

Eye cancer can be treated with surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. If you notice changes in your vision during an optometrist exam, ensure they're checked out by a doctor immediately!

High Cholesterol

The eye exam is the perfect time to look at your cholesterol. High LDL (low-density lipoprotein), or "bad" cholesterol, can lead to heart disease. Cholesterol is made by your liver and found in foods. It's also present in some plants (such as nuts).

Cholesterol travels through your bloodstream to cells throughout your body, where it helps make hormones like estrogen or testosterone and vitamin D. Still, if there's too much circulating in the bloodstream for too long, it can build up on artery walls causing blockages - this is known as atherosclerosis which can result in heart attacks or strokes if left untreated.

Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a cause of blindness in the elderly and can be detected by a dilated eye exam. AMD occurs when blood vessels grow underneath the retina, causing damage to its cells and vision loss. The macula is a part of your retina that allows you to see fine details such as text or faces clearly; if it becomes damaged, you may experience blurred or distorted vision in that area.


Eye exams are vital for your health. You may be surprised to learn that an eye exam can detect many health issues. These are just some of the many conditions an optometrist or ophthalmologist will check during a comprehensive eye exam. While these diseases can cause serious damage if left untreated, an annual visit to the doctor's office is all it takes to catch them early on and keep them from worsening.

At Faro Optometry, our goal is to help you maintain optimal eye health and clear vision for years to come. Our comprehensive eye exam is designed to detect potential problems early on, so you can prevent or treat them before they become serious.

Contact us to schedule a comprehensive eye exam.

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