How An Optometrist Can Diagnose More Than Just Eye Problems

by NetNewsLedger in Health
WINNIPEG – HEALTH – When you think about optometrists, you often think that they are doctors who only deal with vision problems. But the truth is that many optometrists are capable of diagnosing more than just visual problems. Many vision problems have their roots in underlying causes that can go undiagnosed if not caught early on. Things like high blood pressure and diabetes are conditions that show up in someone’s eyesight even if they are unaware of it.
Many patients have no idea that their overall health is related heavily to their visual health. Most view their eyes and vision as a separate entity instead of seeing their eye health as a part of the whole. Ocular health is highly correlated with someone’s overall health status, and sometimes it is those small visual differences that can signal major conditions surfacing elsewhere in the body.
It isn’t just hypertension that can affect someone’s eye health and be detected by the pressure behind the eye; things like diabetes and hypercholesterolemia are also detectable through an eye exam. According to the American Diabetes Association, as many as one in four Americans – which translates to over 30 million people – go undiagnosed. The American Heart Association released statistics that as many as 14 million Americans who have hypertension are completely unaware of their condition. Even those who have high cholesterol (hypercholesterolemia) are typically not diagnosed. As many as one-third of the estimated Americans with the condition are completely oblivious.
Not many health insurance policies cover eye care services, which means many Americans are opting not to have regular exams based on financial need. That translates to those with these looming conditions usually unaware of them until they become very serious and no longer able to be treated by early intervention. Things like high blood pressure and high cholesterol can be critical if not tackled. If they can be caught and treated early on, the patient generally has a much better outcome. That is why having a regular eye exam is so integral to a patient’s health status, but it is not something that many consider or even find beneficial…….
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Source: Net News Ledger