Annual Eye Exam Can Help Save Your Life!



​Ever hear that the eyes are the window to your soul? They are also a window to the rest of the body! An annual eye exam includes taking the internal pressure of the eye as well at dilating the pupil so that the doctor can take a look at the back of your eye. But how can these two things save your life? 

​The eye is like a tire: it will not function at its best if the internal pressure is too high or too low. If the pressure is too high it can damage the nerves in the back of the eye and can lead to gradual vision loss. This loss can be so slow that it is not noticed until significant irreversible damage has been done. The appearance of the back of the eye can also be an indicator of general health and blood pressure.  High blood pressure (hypertension) can lead to heart and kidney damage, stroke, as well as damage to blood vessels throughout the body. The retina of the eye is the only place this damage can be visually detected. An annual eye exam can help catch hypertension at an early stage before it does significant damage throughout the body. 


​When the eye is dilated the doctor can see the back of the eye, also known as the retina. The retina is where you will find the nerves and blood supply of the eye. These vessels are very tiny and very sensitive to changes in the body. Small fragments of a blood clot or calcium from an artery plaque may break off and travel throughout the body without causing a significant problem. However, sometimes those small pieces go to the eye and can block blood supply to the retina causing vision fluctuations, as well as temporary or even permanent blind spots. These changes can become permanent if the blockage lasts for too long.  These fluctuations can be an indication to check the body for blood clots or plaques. The threat of such vascular abnormalities is that micro or major blockages can cut off blood supply to the brain causing a stroke.  These and many other reasons support the importance of having an annual eye exam to ensure the heath of your eyes as well as give insight into your overall health. 


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