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What health conditions can my eye doctor discover during an exam?

Sreedhar Potarazu
Ophthalmology
The eye is an important part of the body where many conditions can manifest themselves. The more common conditions include diabetes and high blood pressure, which can be detected by looking carefully at the back of the eye called the retina. Both diabetes and high blood pressure can cause changes to the blood vessels of the eye although these changes may occur after a few years of having either condition. High cholesterol levels can also be detected in the eye as a whitish ring around the clear part of the eye called the cornea. The optic nerve is an extension of the brain so that many neurologic problems can also be detected through abnormalities of the optic nerve such as brain tumors. Many inflammatory conditions such as Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis can also cause inflammatory changes in the eye.
Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
Doctors can see representative brain cells in the optic nerve when they examine your eyes-making them a window into your brain. By examining your eyes, a doctor can often detect diabetes, high blood pressure, arterial plaque, multiple sclerosis, brain tumors, stroke, leukemia and many other conditions. That makes getting a thorough eye exam one of the best ways to have your brain personally audited for bigger problems that can affect you down the road.
YOU: The Owner's Manual, Updated and Expanded Edition: An Insider's Guide to the Body that Will Make You Healthier and Younger

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YOU: The Owner's Manual, Updated and Expanded Edition: An Insider's Guide to the Body that Will Make You Healthier and Younger

Between your full-length mirror and high-school biology class, you probably think you know a lot about the human body. While it's true that we live in an age when we're as obsessed with our bodies as...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.