Clear vision at a distance is certainly something to be happy about, but 20/20 vision doesn’t mean that you can skip your annual eye exam. Not only are these exams important to protect your ocular health by tracking changes in your vision and the function of your eyes, your eyes can reveal early signs of many serious health conditions throughout your body.
At Northeastern Eye Institute, our doctors are passionate about clear vision and ocular health for each patient. We also take our role in detecting potentially life-threatening conditions very seriously, which is why our eye exams include several different tests.
What does an Eye Doctor Check for in an Eye Exam?
Certainly, it is important to monitor your vision quality and determine if corrective lenses are needed to restore clear vision, but there is much more to an eye exam. Beyond your vision acuity exam, our doctors check:
- Peripheral vision – Even if you have 20/20 vision, you may have peripheral vision deficiencies. It isn’t always easy for you to notice changes in your side vision, and loss of side vision may indicate glaucoma. Left untreated, glaucoma can cause permanent vision loss and blindness.
- Eye Pressure – Your intraocular eye pressure (IOP) is measured in your exam. High IOP is a sign of glaucoma.
- Front of Your Eye – We use biomicroscopy to examine your eyelids, iris, cornea, and lens. Using a slit lamp microscope, our doctors can identify corneal scars and scratches, as well as cataracts.
- Retina, Optic Nerve, and Blood Vessels – By dilating your eyes with special drops, our doctors can check your optic nerve and retina. Signs of disease-related damage can be identified in this test, which can reveal macular degeneration, diabetes, glaucoma, high blood pressure, and retinal tears.
What Conditions Can an Eye Exam Detect?
You may not know that an eye exam could save your life. The nerves, blood vessels, and tissues of the eye provide valuable information about your health. The following conditions can be identified by our eye doctors:
- Type 2 diabetes – By looking at the blood vessels of the eye, our doctors can identify diabetic retinopathy. This sign of diabetes can be identified before the disease can be diagnosed with blood sugar tests, giving you the advantage of early intervention.
- High blood pressure - Narrow blood vessels in the retina can indicate high blood pressure. High blood pressure can affect your vision and can lead to stroke or heart disease.
- Stroke and heart disease – If your eye exam reveals blood clots or emboli (material inside a blood vessel that blocks blood flow), you may need treatment for a cardiovascular condition, and you could be at risk of having a stroke. Follow up with a specialist is necessary in these cases.
- Multiple Sclerosis – Inflammation of your optic nerve is known as optic neuritis. This condition can be a symptom of multiple sclerosis. Optic neuritis does not always indicate MS and could be due to an infection, virus, or other condition.
- Cancer – Our doctors check for signs of cancer externally and internally. Eye doctors can identify skin cancer on the eyelid as well as ocular melanoma. Additionally, vision changes can be a sign of a brain tumor. Cancer originating in other parts of the body can spread to your eyes, which can be detected in an eye exam as well.
Call Us to Schedule your Eye Exam
A comprehensive eye exam with one of our highly trained eye doctors is an integral part of your wellness plan. Our exams go beyond testing your vision acuity to provide valuable insight to your overall health. Call us at 800-334-2233 to schedule an exam. Northeastern Eye Institute has 15 convenient locations for those in Scranton, Hazleton, Wilkes-Barre, and the surrounding areas.