What your eyes say about your overall health

Everyone knows that eyesight decreases as people grow older. Perhaps you've worn glasses all your life or maybe you've always been eagle eyed, but if you find yourself struggling to read in dim light or squinting at the shelves in the supermarket, it might be time for an eye exam.

Why? Maintaining the health of your eyes goes way beyond the impact that trouble seeing can have on your day to day activities. Regular eye exams can reveal a range of conditions that actually show no other symptoms, and if your optometrist does detect the signs of systemic conditions like diabetes or of eye diseases such as macular degeneration or glaucoma, early intervention is key in successfully treating and managing these conditions.

What eye conditions are found in older adults

Older adults are at an increased risk of both glaucoma and cataracts, and those with diabetes must take even greater care to watch for these conditions. The good news about these conditions is that they respond very well to treatment, as long as they are detected early enough.

If you do have diabetes, regular eye exams are also necessary to keep a close watch on the signs of diabetic retinopathy. While this condition most commonly occurs in people experiencing type I diabetes, any diabetes sufferer can develop the condition.

What your eyes can say about your bodily health

An eye exam can also reveal a host of bodily medical conditions that many people are unaware of. When conducting your eye test, your optometrist will have a close view of the nerves, veins, and blood vessels of your eyes, and each part provides valuable clues about the state of your health.

Here are just a few of the conditions that eye exams might detect:

High blood pressure: Your blood vessels can show signs of hypertension, and detecting elevated blood pressure early can reduce your risks of suffering cardiovascular disease, heart attack, or stroke.

Cancer: Many cancers can be found during an eye exam, including ocular melanoma, brain tumors, and skin cancers, for which early treatment is critical.

Diabetes: The blood vessels in your retinas can reveal the early signs of diabetes, and early treatment will mitigate the risks of loss of vision, kidney failure, and heart disease.

Sure, it's hard to find the time, but a simple eye exam can save you a host of problems down the track. Eye exams are completely painless and in Australia are generally covered by Medicare. Book yours today.