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What Your Eye Health Says About Your Overall Health

You may imagine that your regular eye exam is simply a time to see if you need new glasses. In reality, your eye exam could alert you to some serious health concerns. The providers at Cooper Eye Care are experienced in detecting problems during eye exams and understand the connection between eye health and your overall health. 

Outward appearances

The appearance of your eyes can indicate some specific health problems. For example, if the white parts of your eyes look yellow, it could be a symptom of a condition called jaundice. When you have jaundice, there’s too much bilirubin, which is a substance secreted by your liver when it’s damaged or inflamed, in your body. 

If you develop a ring around the outside of the colored part of your eye, your cornea, it could be an indication of extremely high cholesterol. Such a ring, usually grayish-white, is called a corneal arcus. In older people, a corneal arcus isn’t usually an indication of a problem, but in people under 40, it could be a serious concern. 

There are numerous other symptoms of various conditions that show up in the appearance of your eyes. If you’ve noticed a change in how your eyes look, schedule a comprehensive exam. It may be nothing, or it could be an indication of a health problem. 

The inside counts

During a comprehensive eye exam, your provider gets a clear look at the blood vessels in your eyes, along with the connective tissues and nerves. Examining those structures can reveal symptoms that indicate autoimmune disorders, sexually transmitted diseases, cancers, diabetes, and a number of other life-threatening conditions. 

During your exam, your provider looks closely at how the structures in your eyes function, looking for any indication of problems with your overall health. In some cases, an eye exam can do far more than reveal if you need new glasses. In some instances, an eye exam can literally save your life. 

By the age of 40, you should have a comprehensive eye exam by a qualified ophthalmologist to establish a baseline measurement of your eye health. If you or your family have a history of eye disease, you should have a comprehensive eye exam earlier. 

Once you reach the age of 65, you should have an eye exam every one to two years, or as often as your care provider recommends. 

If you have questions about the connection between eye health and overall health, or if it’s time for your comprehensive eye exam, book your appointment at Cooper Eye Care today. You can use our online booking tool to request an appointment at the location most convenient for you, or you can simply call and we’ll be happy to get your appointment scheduled. 

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