Are you ready for the big secret?
Well, here it is… Annual comprehensive eye exams are not just about your vision! These yearly visits are ALSO your best chance at early detection of over 270 non-eye related diseases including cancers, autoimmune diseases, stroke risk, high blood pressure and more.
Wow! How is this possible? Eye doctors are the only health professionals that can see into the back of the eye to investigate the health of the blood vessels and optic nerve, which can uncover a lot about your eyes and general health. In fact, many of the 270+ diseases that can be detected in an eye exam can be detected by an eye doctor before symptoms show up. This means that early detection of a disease can give the patient and healthcare team the ability to treat, manage and slow progression before quality of life is impacted.
“We want every Coloradan to know that when you skip your annual eye exam you’re putting more than your eyesight at risk. An annual eye exam is truly your best chance at early detection for general health challenges that can impact patients at any age. It’s a simple 30–60-minute appointment that has saved lives. Don’t skip this exam,” says Dr. Jean DeMoss, President of the Colorado Optometric Association’s Board of Directors.
Can I Just Get a Quick Screening?
A vision screening is simply a tool used to determine if you should see an eye doctor for a comprehensive exam and is not effective at detecting potential eye health issues. A vision screening does not detect or diagnose any vision or health issues and does not replace a comprehensive eye exam with an optometrist. This means if you have only been getting vision screenings then you will want to schedule a comprehensive exam with an optometrist soon.
Common Health Conditions Optometrists Can Detect
- Autoimmune diseases (lupus, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis)
- Certain cancers (blood, skin, tissue)
- Brain tumors
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Heart disease
- Sjögren's syndrome
- Stroke risk
- Thyroid disease