Here’s what your eyes say about your health, especially brain tumors and diabetes:
When it comes to our eyes, we all have an idea about how good or bad we think we see. Wearers of corrective eyewear know they are dependent on their glasses or contacts to bring things into focus. On the other hand, if you’ve never had to wear prescription glasses or contact lenses — you may not know how much you are missing because you have nothing to compare to…for now.
There’s more to analyzing your eyes than just determining if you can be corrected to 20/20 at your annual eye examination. It’s true. Your eyes reveal more about your general health than you know. That’s why physicians and insurance companies mandate an annual eye health evaluation for their diabetic patients. Understanding your eye health and how it relates to your overall health is critical. One of the first steps taken in the emergency room when someone reports a bad headache is a cursory evaluation of eye movements, pupillary reflexes, and appearance of the optic nerve to see if someone is having a brain tumor or stroke. They always are doing it on Grey’s Anatomy, so it must be important!
More than Meets the Eye
You’ve heard it before — “eyes are the windows to the soul.” Actually, the poetic phrase would be more accurate to say “eyes are the window to the body.” Furthermore, our eyes tell a story of what we’re thinking and feeling. You’ve seen the expression on a child’s face when they’re handed an ice cream cone. Their eyes immediately “light up” and suddenly they’re the happiest kid in the world. It’s that simple.
What are Your Eyes Saying About Your Health?
Great vision doesn’t always mean great health. Someone can see well but have eyes that reveal systemic diseases easily detectable at a routine comprehensive eye examination. No needles, no anesthesia, no painful testing—just a pleasant experience with a qualified and caring doctor in a warm, friendly environment like at Brill Eye Center in Mission, KS. At Brill Eye Center, your health matters to us. Our doctors are committed to providing the highest standards of preventative eye care in Kansas City to help YOU and your health as a whole. Prevention is always less expensive than waiting for a problem to occur—just like it is better to control your blood pressure and cholesterol levels than waiting for a stroke or heart attack to occur. Did you brush your teeth today? That’s prevention.
When you come in for an eye exam, you can rest assured that we’ll be looking for more than just indicators that tell us whether or not you you need glasses or contact lenses. We’ll also be looking for any noticeable signs or symptoms that may be linking to other health conditions.
During a comprehensive eye exam at our office, we’ll check you for all ocular-related general systemic diseases including:
– Arthritis and other inflammatory conditions like Lupus, Sarcoidosis, and Rosacea
– Gut disorders like Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Chrohns Disease and Ulcerative Colitis
– Thyroid conditions
– Neurological and neuromuscular diseases like Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Myasthenia Gravis, and Stroke
If the findings indicate that what you have is systemic, we’ll report the findings to you and your doctor or primary care provider to help coordinate the next best steps for you. Most medical conditions have an ocular component to them and most medications will will also have potential ocular side effects.
Early-detection of diabetes via your annual eye examination
Did you know that more than 100 million adults are living with diabetes or pre-diabetes in the United States alone? This means that more than 100 million people’s vision could be at risk.
With technology today, diabetes can now be detected through a comprehensive eye exam before any lab tests are taken. Here are a few indicators from eye exams that may point to diabetes:
– The appearance of blood leaking in the eye, called hemorrhages or microaneurysms, which is known as diabetic retinopathy
– An early type of human lens opacity, called a posterior subcapsular cataract
– Variable changes in glasses prescription on a day-to-day basis
– Glaucoma, a condition in which the eye pressure is too high causing a loss of central and peripheral vision
– Macular edema—swelling of the central portion of the retina, leading to decreased vision
There are other common symptoms to look for if you think you might be facing the onset of diabetes. Some include: polyuria (excess peeing), polydipsia (excess thirst), polyphagia (excess hunger), extreme fatigue, blurry vision, and more.
With an existing diagnosis, it’s important to be aware of the possible risk your eyes might be up against. Vision loss is one issue many have experienced as a result of their diabetes. At Brill Eye Center, we use Optomap Panoramic Retinal Imaging and pupil dilation, which serves as an effective way to determine whether or not diabetes is affecting your vision.
If we find that your vision is at risk with diabetes, all hope is not lost. There are a few steps you can take to make it better, and it all starts with a healthy lifestyle change. Check out Dr. Brill’s tips to minimize your risk of vision loss here!
The Brill Eye Difference
Our team at Brill Eye Center keeps our “best practices” mindset at the forefront of all that we do. If there’s a best way to do something, that’s the way we’ll get it done.
When you choose Brill Eye Center, you can be confident that we’ll work to give you the best possible care and solutions to not only improve your eyes, but to improve your overall health.