How an Eye Exam Can Detect Health Issues

It’s recommended that you should get a comprehensive eye exam every one to two years. This isn’t factoring in your age, eye health factors, or if you wear glasses or contacts. An eye exam helps detect eye problems at an earlier stage and treat it. It gives a chance to identify, correct or adapt vision changes. 

Most people aren’t associating their eye health with the rest of their body. With that being said, Eye Exams are not only beneficial for your eye health but can also detect health issues that you may not be aware of. So, it’s important to visit your local optometrist for a checkup. 

How can an Eye Exam detect diseases or health risks? When you visit an Optometrist, they will be able to examine your eyes which can lead to an indicator of a specific health risk. Based on the blood vessels of your eyes and other factors it can show signs of a certain health risk.

Serious Health Issues Eye Exams Can Detect

High Blood Pressure

1/3 Americans suffer from high blood pressure. High blood pressure affects your eye’s blood vessels and leaks in the back of your eyes. This can help inform your optometrist that you suffer from high blood pressure. By keeping your blood pressure in control, it would result in reducing the risk of cardiovascular damage and other eye diseases.

High Cholesterol

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Having a yellow or blue ring around the cornea called Xanthelasma might be an indication of having high cholesterol. Plaque may be seen in the arteries of the retina after your optometrist dilates your eyes. Large plaques can increase the risk of having a stroke or heart attack.

Brain Tumors

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Brain tumors leave swelling and pressure to the brain, this impacts your eyes. Your optometrist would be able to detect the effect by seeing the back of the eyes. You might experience symptoms like double-vision, change of size in your pupil, or misaligned eyes.


When getting your eyes checked there can be signs of skin cancer. If your retina is bleeding this can indicate that you have leukemia. The eyelids are the most common place an optometrist would check for skin cancer. Since the eyelids are exposed to the sun.

Vascular Disease

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Clotting and bleeding disorders may cause visible bleeding around the eye. Which can endanger your vision. It’s important to see an optometrist as soon as possible if you are experiencing loss of vision.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Common side effects of having Rheumatoid Arthritis is having dry eyes, and having inflammation within the irises. Having bulges within the eyes can also be an indicator but these are similar symptoms of other autoimmune diseases like graves’ disease.


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Most people won’t expect an optometrist to diagnose them with diabetes. Diabetes affects the small capillaries within the retina of the eyes. They might leak blood or yellowish fluid. If this occurs you might have diabetic retinopathy. 

These are just a few listed health risks that a comprehensive eye exam can detect. There are countless more health risks an eye exam can detect. That’s why it’s important to get comprehensive eye exams, not just for your eyes but your overall health.

When to Get an Eye Exam

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As stated before, it’s recommended to go to an optometrist every one to two years. This is without factoring your age, or eye health factors. If you take prescriptions that may have side effects to your eye health, and if you wear glasses and contacts you should visit your optometrist yearly. 

Signs you might need an eye exam:

  • If you feel like your vision is continuing to get worse and struggling to read text.
  • You haven’t visited an optometrist before or haven’t done so in years.
  • Having a family history of eye diseases.
  • Had an eye injury or eye surgery.

Listed below is information on how regularly get a checkup depending on age groups.


Your child’s pediatrician would look for your child’s eye health for common eye problems and eye development, like misaligned eyes or any other common issue. Once your child is ages 3-7 you should schedule a comprehensive eye exam which will address vision impairment or any risk factors.


It’s recommended that teens from the age of 13-18 have a comprehensive eye exam once every two years. If they use contacts or glasses, they should visit an optometrist annually or the recommendation from their optometrist.


Based on the comprehensive eye exam screening your doctor would recommend how often you should revisit for an eye exam. At age 40 you should have a complete comprehensive eye exam, in which vision changes and eye diseases tend to start. Senior adults should have their eyes checked yearly.

Also Read: 6 Best Food For Eyes: Edibles That Improve Your Eyesight

Importance of an Eye Exam

The information listed can be very daunting, but the process of getting an eye exam can be extremely beneficial not only for your visual health but for your overall health. It’s better to get diagnosed earlier with these issues so that it can be treated before it becomes life threatening.

Regular eye exams will help detect eye problems at its earliest stage. Even if your vision seems healthy, it’s not always certain that it is. 

Eye Exam Cost

Insurance companies may cover your eye exam. If you don’t have insurance, the price can vary depending on the location and the type of practice.

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