Can Eye Exams Detect High Blood Pressure?

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Most people only visit an eye doctor when they have vision problems like blurry vision, headaches, or eye strain. But eye exams aren’t just for checking our vision. They can also detect other health problems like high blood pressure.  

High blood pressure is a chronic condition that can cause damage to organs throughout the body, including the eyes. In this blog post, we’ll discuss how high blood pressure can affect your eye health and why it is essential to get regular eye exams to catch this condition early.  

The connection between high blood pressure and eye health 

The eyes are often called the “windows to the soul,” but they’re also a window into your overall health. During an eye exam, an eye doctor can spot signs of high blood pressure by looking at the blood vessels in the retina. The retina is the only place in the body where the blood vessels are visible. If left unchecked, high blood pressure can harm these blood vessels, potentially leading to a condition called retinopathy and resulting in vision problems. Additionally, your eye doctor can look for other signs of high blood pressure like eye bleeding, optic nerve swelling, and blood vessel narrowing. 

Why early detection of high blood pressure is important 

High blood pressure is a silent killer and can cause serious health problems if left untreated. It can increase the risk of stroke, heart attack, and kidney failure. By detecting high blood pressure early before you have symptoms, you can take steps to manage it and reduce your risk of complications. This is why it’s important to get regular eye exams, even if you don’t have any vision problems. 

Other benefits of eye exams 

In addition to spotting high blood pressure, eye exams can also detect other health conditions, such as diabetes, thyroid disease, and even certain types of cancer. Diabetes can also damage the blood vessels in the eye, leading to a condition called diabetic retinopathy. By monitoring your eye health with regular exams, your optometrist can help you protect your vision and maintain good overall health.  

In summary, eye exams go beyond just checking your vision. Eye exams can detect high blood pressure, diabetes, and other eye conditions. Optometrists use advanced diagnostic technology that can spot early signs of high blood pressure before you even notice symptoms. If it’s been a while since your last eye exam, schedule an appointment with our eye doctor in Spokane Valley today. 

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