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Surprising Health Conditions Adult Eye Exams Can Detect

Surprising Health Conditions Adult Eye Exams Can Detect

They say the eyes are the window to the soul, but they can also offer a view into your overall health. Your eyes offer medical professionals a unique opportunity to view your blood vessels and their health while also searching for other signs of medical complications. When you visit your optometrist for an adult eye exam, they search for any abnormalities in your eyes that may signal the development of eye conditions as well as serious health conditions that might not even impact your vision. The eyes are often one of the first places where visual evidence of developing conditions can be noticed. By looking into your eyes during an eye exam, here are some serious health conditions that your optometrist may detect.

Eye Exams Can Detect Signs Of These Surprising Health Conditions 

Aneurysms develop as a result of thinning artery walls. These weak arteries can leak or rupture and threaten your health and life. Brain aneurysms can cause severe one-sided headaches and loss of facial or body functions and require immediate medical attention. Signs of thinning artery walls that leak or are ruptured can be viewed through the eyes during an adult eye exam.

Brain Tumour
As brain tumours grow, they can put pressure on the eye. During your adult eye exam, if your optometrist notices damage to the optic nerve caused by pressure or they see an abnormal change in the size of your pupil, it can be indicative of a developing brain tumour.

Heart Disease
A person with heart disease can display signs of this in their eyes. People who have had a stroke (which can sometimes be very minor and is not noticed by the person having the stroke, especially if they happen in your sleep) will have small marks on their eyes. Although it’s not uncommon for people to have these marks, a person with many marks likely has heart disease indicative of a high risk of future, more severe strokes.

High Cholesterol
As cholesterol builds in your blood, it increases your risk of stroke. High cholesterol often doesn’t present any symptoms so many people don’t know it’s developing until they have their cholesterol levels tested. If your optometrist sees a yellow or blue ring around your cornea, it can be an indicator that your cholesterol is too high and they will recommend you get blood work completed.

Medication Toxicities
Some medications for other conditions you have can cause damage to your eyes, specifically to the retina and the optic nerve. An eye exam will detect any damage and a review of your medications and medical history will indicate to your optometrist if your medication is having other negative side effects such as a threat to vision.

Rheumatoid Arthritis
Many people with rheumatoid arthritis can suffer from dry eyes. Rheumatoid arthritis can also cause the eyes to be red and painful. If you suffer from dry eyes or eye pain, don’t ignore it; visit an optometrist to investigate if they could be caused by rheumatoid arthritis or another condition and to explore your dry eye treatment options.

Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Syphilis, herpes, chlamydia, HIV, gonorrhea, genital warts, and even pubic lice can all be detected during an eye exam. All of these forms of sexually transmitted diseases can affect the eyes in varying severities; some conditions cause pink eye, some cause warts, and others threaten vision permanently. 

Optimal Health With Regular Adult Eye Exams

Regular adult eye exams monitor your eye health, but they are also an important part of maintaining your overall health. If your optometrist detects abnormalities in your eyes that indicate you are developing a health condition, it can prompt you to visit your primary care doctor and assess for health conditions in the early stages, which can prevent conditions from worsening. If you want to protect your eye health and your overall health, book an adult eye exam at Market Mall Optometry in Calgary NW. Our staff will check for any abnormalities and we will ensure you are informed and educated about your eye health and any developing conditions. To schedule an eye exam, call Market Mall Optometry at 1-403-286-4884 or fill out the online contact form.


Q: How often should I have an eye exam?
A: Adult eye exams are recommended once every two years, once a year for those over 65.

Q: What should I expect at an eye exam?
A: A standard eye exam includes:

  • Assessment to test colour deficiency
  • Measurement of depth perception
  • Measurement of the pressure inside of your eyes
  • Measurement of your existing glasses prescription
  • A review of any health concerns you may have or that may be in your family history
  • Examination of your eyes with and without the help of lenses 
  • Full assessment of the health of your eyes 
  • Retinal photo to assess the health of the back of your eyes 
  • Optometrist-determined prescription

Q: Are comprehensive eye exams uncomfortable?
A: A comprehensive eye exam is non-invasive so you will not feel any pain or discomfort for the duration of the exam.

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