A brain tumor is one of the many conditions, including diabetes and heart disease, which could be detected by a test in the eyes, according to ophthalmologists.
Because an eye test may primarily concern how well you can see, however, it could also reveal a series of potentially lethal conditions. According to Optical Express, hundreds of lives could be saved each year if more people took regular examinations in their eyes.
“Many illnesses often start with little or no obvious symptoms, but they can be traced to an eye scan,” said Stephen Hannan, optician’s optical and clinical services director.
He added: “If detected early, diagnosis of one of these catastrophic diseases can be life-saving (…) It is common for people to think that an eye test simply determines what kind of glasses or contact lenses are needed and , so many patients postpone it until their vision starts to deteriorate or has become so poor that it affects their daily lives (…) But it is necessary to do this every two years not only to check for health of your eyes, but also to detect changes and prevent diseases in their initial stages “.
Hannan has recommended that patients undergo eye tests at least once every two years, especially if they have some eyebrows or if they have frequent headaches.
According to Diabetes UK, too many people have diabetes, but they do not know it. “If not treated in time, diabetes can cause blindness, loss of limbs or, in the most severe cases, death,” said Hannan, adding:
“It’s easy not to notice the early symptoms, but a small amount of bleeding into the retina will be detected in an eye examination. When the blood vessels in the central region of the retina are affected, it is called diabetic maculopathy and is one of the most common causes of vision loss.
“An optometrist can control your eyes for blurred vision and observe a potentially unusual dilation of the pupil as well as the color of the optic nerve (…) A specific eye examination can help diagnose a tumor in the brain. (…) If something seems unusual, the optometrist will immediately refer you to a neurologist, “said Hannan.
“The heart disease kills someone in the UK every three minutes, according to the Institute of Cardiology (…) The optometrist can detect a white ring around the cornea (the clear surface of your eye), a sign that can be a marker high cholesterol in the blood, which is a classic factor of coronary heart disease, heart attack, or stroke, “says Hannan.
Multiple Sclerosis (Multiple Sclerosis – MS)
“The average life expectancy for people with MS is about 5-10 years lower than average, according to the British National Health System (NHS),” says Hannan, adding:
“Multiple Sclerosis can cause optic nerve swelling, which creates a specific visual field defect called ‘scotoma’.”
“High blood pressure (hypertension) was responsible for about 75,000 deaths in the United Kingdom in 2015, according to the Blood Pressure Association,” said Hannan and continued:
“Many people find that they have hypertension after an ophthalmologic examination. It can cause blood vessels to rupture at the back of the eye, which is easily detected during a typical eye examination. “