Each time you have a comprehensive eye evaluation, your doctor is evaluating the tiny blood vessels in the retina (the lining of the inside of your eye). These tiny blood vessels are only visible by looking inside your eye, yet they are present in all the organs of your body.
Your eye doctor is determining if there are any mild or advanced vascular changes that may influence your overall health, including heart health. The tiny blood vessels in the retina take on a different appearance when there is excess hypertension (high blood pressure), high blood glucose, or high cholesterol.
Changes in the tiny blood vessels in the retina are often a clue to future vision loss or future heart health issues. Your eye doctor can then communicate to your family doctor any concerns related to the results of the eye examination that can affect your general health.
Leading causes of adult blindness are Age-Related Macular Degeneration and Diabetic Retinopathy which are able to be detected by your eye doctor at early stages with regular annual examinations. Regular eye examinations allow your eye doctor to provide you with information that will help guide you to better health.
Medications prescribed by your family doctor often help keep your eyes healthy. Nutritional treatments and healthy lifestyles that are prescribed by your eye doctor are good for eye health as well as your heart and general health. Be sure to ask your eye doctor about the health of those tiny blood vessels in your retina.