Complete eye exam is recommended at least once a year. The actual frequency depends on your age, demographic risk factors, family history and history of your personal medical problems. But oftentimes your eye doctor can make certain conclusions about your overall health from a complete eye exam and to foresee, prevent and treat medical diseases with close collaboration with your primary care doctor. Infectious, cancerous, immune, and vascular diseases may be revealed during your ocular examination.
By external examination, your eye doctor may detect a tumor behind an eye, thyroid eye disease or metabolic storage diseases. By checking pupillary reactions to light or accommodation, optic nerve disorders (e.g., optic nerve glioma or meningioma as well as certain nutritional deficiencies) may be detected. Dysfunction of ocular alignment and movements as well as visual field abnormalities on testing can foretell neurological disorders (e.g., myasthenia gravis, thyroid eye disease, brain defects or aneurysm, or multiple sclerosis).
Examination at the slit lamp of the anterior segment may reveal allergies, drug or heavy metal intoxication,, sarcoidosis, auto-immune diseases, and diabetes. Certain types of cataracts are formed in people suffering arthritis, allergic eye disease, dystrophies or metabolic and endocrine irregularities.
Dilated eye exam reveals a full extend of the systemic hypertension, diabetes and various infectious diseases on the eye and the rest of the body as the eye only has a non-invasive access to examine the bool vessel flow. Also, collagen vascular diseases, tumors, endocrine diseases, anemias and leukemias, strokes and increased intracranial pressures are detected during a complete eye exam to help to prevent more systemic effects of these with timely treatment.
Regular eye exams help early recognition and timely treatment of many systemic conditions. Because your ophthalmologist is a medical doctor, he or she understands the complex and wonderful interrelations between your eyes and your body. Getting a comprehensive eye exam from your ophthalmologist is like getting insight into your future. At least one year at a time…