Did you know your eye can be a window into your overall health? During a comprehensive eye exam, your doctor will check your eyes for common eye diseases, but he or she also may be able to detect early signs of a non-eye related medical condition, sometimes years before symptoms even begin to occur.

Because our eyes are located on the outside of our body and are see-through, doctors can peer in to see blood vessels, nerves and tissues with specialized equipment. Diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes and multiple sclerosis cause changes in the eye, such as blood clots, inflammation and swelling. Dr. Kashyap Kasupada of Charlotte Eye Ear Nose & Throat Associates says, “eye exams also can detect signs of stroke, brain tumors and even cancer”.

Everyone should have a regular eye exam. Too often, people forget about their eyes if they see clearly and their vision has remained the same. Medical authorities recommend adults with no signs or risk factors for eye disease have a comprehensive eye exam at age 40. “The heralding signs of presbyopia, when extending reading material out as far as our arms can reach to see near anymore, prompt many to seek attention around this age”, says Kashyap Kasupada, MD, FACS.

Below are guidelines for comprehensive eye exams for each age group:
  • Ages 40 – 54, every 2-4 years

  • Ages 55 – 64, every 1-3 years

  • Ages 65 and over , every 1-2 years
If you have a family history of eye disease, or if you have diabetes or high blood pressure, talk with your ophthalmologist about how frequently your eyes should be examined.

Article reprinted with permission from Charlotte Eye Ear Nose & Throat, Charlotte, North Carolina

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