If your vision is getting blurry, it usually means you need a new set of glasses. But, in other cases, blurry vision is an important warning sign of a more serious medical problem. Doctors recommend a comprehensive eye exam every year because eye exams are about a lot more than eyesight.
Eye exams often also reveal the early signs of more serious health problems, such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. Certain eye problems could also hint at other less common, yet serious, conditions.
Blurred vision can sometimes indicate a minor stroke or multiple sclerosis.
Bulging eyes may be evidence of thyroid disease.
Yellowing eyes — when the whites of your eyes develop a faint yellowish color, it could signal a variety of health problems, such as gallstones, liver disease, hepatitis, or pancreatic cancer.
The eye truly offers physicians a unique lens into an individual’s health. “Eyes are the only place in the body where you can see a bare nerve, a bare artery, and a bare vein, without doing any cutting,” Andrew Iwach, an ophthalmologist at the University of California, San Francisco told WebMd. “The disease processes we see occurring in the eye are probably occurring in the rest of the body.”
So, even if you don’t need a vision correction, you need that yearly exam. And it doesn’t have to be with an ophthalmologist. An experienced optometrist will know what signs to look for in your eyes that warrant further examination by a physician.