What Does Your Vision Say About Your Health?

Experts suggest that adults aged 60 and above should undergo an eye exam at least once every two years. Although the primary purpose of the tests is to identify any conditions that can compromise your vision, your eye doctor is also searching for indicators of other serious health problems.

Discover two conditions that could compromise your eye health.


When your blood sugar level is extremely high, the small vessels in the retina may start to leak. Consequently, you may develop diabetic retinopathy, which unfortunately, is among the leading causes of blindness in the US.

A standard eye examination might not detect retinopathy, so you must undergo a dilated eye exam to detect the issue. Your eye doctor will administer eye drops to dilate your pupils and give a better view of the back of your eyes. The doctor then uses special equipment to examine the optic nerve, the retinal blood vessels, and the back eye view.

The eye doctor may also use optical coherence tomography to detect fluids in your retina and other damage that indicates glaucoma or retinopathy.

Symptoms of retinopathy include:

  • Eye pain
  • Blurry and fluctuating vision

You shouldn't wait until you experience any of these symptoms to go for an eye exam. An annual dilated eye exam is recommended for people above 60 years or diabetic people.  

Regular dilated eye exams help the eye doctor spot early signs of retinopathy even before you get a diabetes diagnosis. This gives you a head start on treatment and lifestyle changes to control your blood sugar levels. The early intervention could go a long way to help protect your organs from damage by high sugar levels.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Arthritis is primarily associated with inflammation of body joints, like the feet and hand wrists. But it can affect other body parts, like the eyes.

Rheumatoid arthritis is a type of arthritis that affects your vision. The disease damages the connective tissues around the joint bones, including the tissues on the cornea and sclera.

Rheumatoid arthritis causes dry eye syndrome, and if not treated sooner, dry eyes can cause infections and scarring of the cornea. Other symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis are:

  • Eye pain
  • Blurred vision
  • Glaucoma
  • Light sensitivity

If you experience any of these symptoms, avoid over-the-counter medications. Instead, let your optometrist examine you to rule out rheumatoid as the cause of eye redness and pain. They can help catch the symptoms early and spare you a great deal of discomfort down the road. Look into a company like Northwest Ophthalmology for more information.