How Eye Exams Can Save Your Life

Doctor and patient at the ophthalmology clinic

You’ve probably heard from your eye doctor that regular eye exams are important. You no doubt get the call every year, reminding you to make an eye appointment. But did you know your life may depend on keeping that appointment? How could eye exams save your life?

Often, eye problems do not present with any signs or symptoms, particularly in the early stages. As you age, your likelihood of developing eye conditions increases, and you might not think it’s very serious. However, vision problems can often be caused by a much more severe medical condition, so even a little bit of decline in your vision should not be ignored. In fact, even if your eyesight seems fine to you, you should still see your eye doctor every year. Here are some compelling reasons for staying on top of your eye health.

  • During your eye exam, your eye doctor could detect an aneurysm. An aneurysm is a swelling or bulge in the wall of an artery, and if it ruptures, it can be life-threatening. An eye doctor can detect pressure in the brain, along with swelling of the optic nerve or bleeding into the retina, during your annual exam, and these signs could indicate an aneurysm.
  • Increased brain pressure and optic nerve swelling can also mean a brain tumor. This can be caught early during your routine eye exam. On the other hand, you might experience symptoms like changes in vision, including blurred or double vision, loss of side vision, or abnormal eye movements.
  • Sometimes, an eye exam can prevent a stroke. Blood vessel blockages in the back of the eye can often be detected during a routine check-up from the eye doctor. When these occur in the retina, they can also cause sudden blind spots. Especially for older people, it’s important to have regular eye exams and catch this sign before a stroke occurs.
  • Believe it or not, your eye doctor can detect signs of heart disease, just by examining your eyes. That’s because your eye doctor can spot small lumps of cholesterol running through your blood vessels, an indication of high cholesterol. People with high cholesterol are at higher risk of cardiovascular disease, but also of vision loss. Vision loss can occur when the cholesterol in the blood blocks the blood vessel.
  • There are also several types of cancer that can be detected during an eye exam. Skin cancers can affect the outer areas of the eyes, including the eyelids. Leukemia and lymphoma can damage the eye’s interior. In addition, tumors in other types of tissue, like breast tissue, can spread to the structures of the eye, where they’ll be detected by your eye doctor.

Don’t risk your life by putting off your eye exam. If you’re looking for an ophthalmologist or optometrist in Derry, Londonderry, Raymond or Windham, Spindel Eye Associates is here for you. Having spent over 35 years providing eye care in New Hampshire, our eye doctors proudly provide our patients with personalized eye care, using top of the line technology. For more information or to schedule an appointment call 603.421.6536 or contact us through our website.