Posted ineye health

The health of your eyes is an indicator of your overall health

eye diseases

An eye examination can tell you much more about the health of your body than how good your eyesight is. No other organ can give a clearer picture of the condition of the veins and arteries than the eye. Metabolic disorders affect the health of blood vessels, so an eye exam is an important step in the early diagnosis of such conditions.

Even if you do not have any vision problems, it is important to see an optician regularly, as vision problems can be a symptom of diseases that affect vision in particular. Your eyes tell a story that only a doctor can tell.

During the examination, your doctor will look for the following symptoms:

Headaches are not always caused by external factors, such as sensitivity to changes in the weather. Headaches, especially in the forehead or around the eyes, can be a symptom of a serious medical condition. There are a number of conditions that can cause headaches, such as sinusitis, undetected tumours, glaucoma (*glaucoma is an increase in intraocular pressure) and eye muscle disorders that cause strabismus. It is therefore important to diagnose and treat the cause of the headache in time.

High blood pressure.
One of the early signs of high blood pressure is irregularity or narrowing of the blood vessels. Therefore, an eye exam can help diagnose high blood pressure in its early stages and detect possible vision problems.

Increased temperature, thirst, periodic loss of vision and frequent weight changes can be signs of diabetes. An ophthalmologist only needs to look at the patient’s retina to confirm the diagnosis. Small haemorrhages or ‘cotton-wool’ deposits on the retina can be a sign of diabetes. Changes in vision associated with fluctuations in blood glucose levels throughout the day can also indicate the presence of the disease. Eye examinations can help detect diabetes early.

Patients with high blood pressure need reassurance that their prescribed treatment is controlling the rise in blood pressure throughout the day. A retinal exam provides important information to help the doctor determine the risk of stroke. If characteristic changes in the blood vessels of the retina are detected during an eye examination, promptly alerting your doctor may help prevent a stroke.

High cholesterol.
You like to eat well. But what about your blood fats? During an eye exam, your doctor may notice the effects of your “frenzy”. Fat sticks to the walls of the retinal blood vessels from the inside, changing their structure. Blocked blood vessels due to hardening or fatty plaque increase the risk of high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and stroke. Early detection of high cholesterol can help prevent these effects and prolong life.

Multiple sclerosis.
Sclerosis is an abnormal thickening or hardening of body tissues. Diplopia (double vision), narrowing of the visual field, uncoordinated eye twitches and involuntary movements may be the first signs of multiple sclerosis. Of course, an eye exam is no substitute for a thorough examination by a doctor, but the eyes can tell you a lot about a patient’s condition.

Eyes and common eye diseases

eye diseases

Catch problems early, before they become noticeable. The eyes are susceptible to diseases, many of which are virtually asymptomatic and can lead to complications ranging from visual impairment to blindness. Responsible eye care is essential for good eye health. At least once a day, do a quick self-assessment. Ask yourself these questions My eyes feel good? My eyes look good? Can I see well? If you answered “no” to at least one of these questions, you should see an eye care professional. A routine eye exam is painless and consists mainly of looking at the outside of the eye.

The most common eye disease is glaucoma.
Glaucoma is a condition in which the eye loses its ability to regulate intraocular pressure and the pressure inside the eye continues to rise. The danger of glaucoma is that it can be asymptomatic and the disease is not recognised until it is too late. The tissues of the eye are under the influence of increased pressure, which gradually increases without the patient being aware of it.

Glaucoma is one of the most studied eye diseases, but also one of the most dangerous. Therefore, early diagnosis of glaucoma is the most important way to prevent vision loss. If glaucoma is left untreated, the pressure on the optic nerve caused by constantly high intraocular pressure can lead to optic atrophy* and blindness. Glaucoma can be treated in a variety of ways, from simple treatment with eye drops in the early stages to laser or surgical treatment in severe cases. It is important to know that dead nerves cannot be brought back, but healthy nerves can be saved. Regular glaucoma screening by an ophthalmologist (at least once a year) is a must for anyone concerned about their health.

*Atrophy – degeneration, decay, deterioration, pathological changes in tissues.

Cataract – clouding of the lens of the eye.
The natural lens of the eye, called the crystalline lens, becomes cloudy and opaque with age. In some cases, a genetic predisposition can lead to the development of cataracts in young people. Cataracts are a natural, progressive process that most people will experience sooner or later. Cataracts are only diagnosed when vision starts to deteriorate. In this case, the lens needs to be removed and replaced with an artificial lens made from a special type of plastic. This is one of the most common surgical procedures in the world.

Exposure to ultraviolet radiation accelerates the progression of cataracts, so the eyes should be protected from ultraviolet radiation with sunglasses or contact lenses*. However, it is important to remember that vision loss is not always caused by lens opacity. You should see an optician if your vision deteriorates.

*Contact lenses with UV filters are not a substitute for sunglasses as they do not completely cover the eye and surrounding area.