What Diseases Can an Optometrist Diagnose?

Optometrists are highly trained professionals who can detect a wide range of health risks during a comprehensive eye exam. From diabetes to high blood pressure, optometrists can spot signs of these diseases in the structures of the eye. In this article, we'll discuss 11 of the most common health risks that an optometrist can detect during a comprehensive eye exam. Diabetes is a disease that affects approximately 10% of Americans right now.

Unfortunately, many people have diabetes and don't even realize it, which can lead to numerous complications. During an eye exam, an optometrist may be able to detect signs of diabetic retinopathy, which is an eye condition that damages the blood vessels in the retina. In some cases, people find out they have diabetes through an eye exam rather than a visit to their family doctor. High blood pressure is another common health risk that can be detected during a comprehensive eye exam.

About one-third of American adults suffer from high blood pressure, and if left untreated, it can lead to heart attacks, strokes, and more. An optometrist may be able to tell if you have high blood pressure by examining your eyes. High blood pressure often causes sprains and other problems in the blood vessels in the back of the eye. It's essential that you control high blood pressure if you have it, as it can cause all kinds of eye problems, including glaucoma.

Cancer is still a major health risk in the United States, and while many types cannot be detected by an eye exam, there are some that can. Blood, skin, and tissue cancers often show signs that can be detected during a detailed eye exam. If your optometrist suspects that you may have cancer during an eye exam, it's important to talk to your family doctor right away about it. Multiple sclerosis is a rare neurological disorder that affects about 400,000 people in the United States.

An optometrist may be one of the first doctors to detect signs of multiple sclerosis that are taking shape in the body. People with multiple sclerosis often experience inflammation in the optic nerves. Hyperthyroidism is another condition that can be detected during an eye exam. People with hyperthyroidism often have protruding eyeballs and retractable eyelids.

Dry eyes is another condition that may be detected during an eye exam. However, it's also possible that you could be dealing with an inflammatory disease called lupus. Lupus is an autoimmune disease that causes the body to attack healthy tissues and may coincide with dry eyes. An optometrist may have cause for concern about lupus if you notice swelling in the whites of your eyes during an exam.

Rheumatoid arthritis is one of the most painful forms of arthritis that exist and can cause your body to target healthy tissues. As a result, you'll experience a lot of swelling in your joints and other areas. Brain tumors are another health risk that can be detected during an eye exam. While most brain tumors are non-malignant, it's important to detect them as soon as possible so doctors can decide what to do next.

Corneal diseases are among the most dangerous eye conditions because of their potential to cause permanent vision loss. Be sure to visit your optometrist whenever you experience symptoms such as eye pain, tearing, swelling, redness, and sensitivity to light. An eye exam can help your optometrist confirm your eye condition and stop its progression immediately. At Market Mall Optometry in Calgary, our team of optometrists is available for regularly scheduled exams and emergency eye care. Contact us at 403-286-4884 or complete our online contact form to book a comprehensive eye exam today.

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