Did you know your eyes are windows to your general health? Many systemic conditions can be detected with a dilated eye examination. Looking into a dilated eye, I can see a view of the blood vessels and assess vascular health. Your eyes can tell a lot about your visual health and overall wellness.
Besides helping you see better, annual eye exams can aid in detection of serious eye conditions, like glaucoma and cataracts and health conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure. This is important since you won’t always notice the symptoms yourself – and some of these diseases cause irreversible damage.
If it’s been at least a year since your last eye examination, call the office and schedule an appointment. (707)762-8643. Schedule online.
The eyes are the window to the soul
In honor of Valentine’s Day, I want to explain why the eyes are the window to the heart.
Abnormalities of the blood vessels in the retina can be used to indicate complications for diabetes, hypertension, stroke and heart disease.
The retina is a membrane that lines the eyeball and receives light and converts it into signals that reach the brain and result in vision. During a dilated eye exam, Drs. Griffith and Staton examine the retina and blood vessels. Changes in the vessels such as narrowing or ballooning is suspicious of cardiovascular disease. Systemic diseases, that affect the body or its organs, such as hypertension, diabetes, AIDS, Graves’ disease, lupus, atherosclerosis, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and sickle cell anemia often cause changes in the eye that show up as red dots or small blood clots. Blood vessels of the eyes are so predicative because they are part of the brain’s vascular system, so they share anatomical features and respond similarly to stress and disease.
In fact, eyes are so transparent compared to the rest of the body that they are the only organ that allows doctors to directly see blood vessels. The use of digital fundus photography allows the doctor to analyze the retina and vessels and compare the pictures to previous photos taken.
Let us gaze into your eyes.