3 Medical Issues Eye Exams Can Help Diagnose

Regular eye exams are important for a variety of reasons, even though most people associate healthy eyes with good vision. Although you will want to have good overall vision, focusing on your eye health is important for other reasons, too. This guide will help you understand a few common medical issues an eye exam can help detect.


Your vision will be tested during the eye exam, but your optometrist will also be inspecting various components of your eyes. For example, the retina and capillaries will be inspected for signs of swelling or inflammation.

If the capillaries and retina appear swollen or inflamed or the eyes are red due to a small amount of blood leaking from the blood vessels, you may have diabetic retinopathy, which is a common problem that affects patients with diabetes.

Most patients do not even realize they have diabetic retinopathy until an eye exam. Unfortunately, without efficient diagnosis and treatment, the condition can lead to blindness. Therefore, scheduling regular eye exams is crucial, especially if you have already been diagnosed with diabetes.


Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is also a condition your optometrist may be able to detect during an ordinary eye exam. If your eye doctor notices redness in the eyes or swollen blood vessels, they may choose to measure your blood pressure.

Elevated blood pressure may stem from a variety of things including stress, diet, or a more serious cardiovascular issue. If your optometrist believes you have blood pressure, you should consult your primary care physician for more information. Prescription medication can treat hypertension, but changing your diet, exercising, and even visiting a cardiologist may be necessary, too.

High Cholesterol

While surprising to hear, your eyes may also show signs of high cholesterol. Obesity and inactivity plus consuming a diet rich in high-fat foods can all increase your risk of high cholesterol levels.

It is important to note the dangers of having high cholesterol. A large accumulation of plaque/cholesterol will block blood flow through your arteries. This can lead to serious heart issues and even a heart attack. If the arteries that supply blood to your brain are blocked, you may suffer a stroke.

Regular medical checkups can help indicate if you have high cholesterol. However, if your eye doctor notices a yellow ring around your cornea, you probably have high cholesterol levels.

Scheduling routine eye exams is not only important for your vision and eye health – it is also important for diagnosing other medical concerns. Talk to a business like Cripe Stephens & Stickel for more details.