When you pay your annual visit to the eye doctor for a checkup, if you are like most people, the main thing on your mind is whether you will need glasses or a stronger prescription for the glasses you already have. However, what many people do not know is that their eyes can say a lot about the health of their entire body. When you sit in the examination chair at the optometrist's office, the doctor will be looking for other indications that something even bigger could be taking place. Here are a few surprising things your eye doctor can tell by looking at your eyes.
1. Graves' Disease - Grave's disease is also known as an overactive thyroid and is usually marked by weight loss and excitability. What most people do not know is that one of the big symptoms of this disease is changes in the appearance of the eyes, such as bulging eyes or eyes that appear to be larger than usual. If you notice a change in the overall size and shape of your eyes, be sure to talk to the optometrist right away, as proper treatment can prevent rapid progression and changes.
2. Arcus Senilis - Arcus senilis is a graying of the corneal area of the eye that starts usually as a spot and grows until it develops a full ring. This is caused by high cholesterol in most patients, but does not affect a person's vision in any negative way. If the eye doctor notices this condition, they will likely refer you to a family physician for further examination and testing.
3. Myasthenia Gravis - An autoimmune disease that triggers muscle weakness, myasthenia gravis is often marked by drooping eyelids, which is caused by weakened muscles that support the soft tissue of the eyelid itself. While most people are not familiar with the disease, the eye doctor can usually spot signs pretty quickly, but patients usually assume there is something else happening entirely.
4. HIV/AIDS - AIDS and HIV causes extreme inflammation in various parts of the body, including the retinal nerves behind the eye. The inflammation is often spotted during an eye exam, and most professionals are quite familiar with this tell-tale symptom.
The bottom line is, going for your annual exam with the eye doctor could prove to be more beneficial to your health than what you have ever imagined. Talk to your eye doctor about other diseases and conditions that they could possible spot with a regular ocular exam.
For more information, contact a professional like Modern Eyez.