People say the eyes are the window to the soul, but your peepers can also tell you a lot about your overall health. It turns out optometrists can see warning signs for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and even signs of stroke just by taking a gander into your eyes.
If you’ve never been, an eye examination usually takes about 20 to 30 minutes. (It can sometimes take longer if you need extra tests.) Optometrists use harmless high-resolution cameras and lenses to look through the transparent layer of your eye called the cornea, and shine different light to see what’s happening inside.
A good optometrist will screen your eyes for a few potential issues:
- High cholesterol — A grey or white arc around your cornea (the colourful part of your eye) might be a sign of high cholesterol (bad). Take note, guys: this condition is seen more often in men than women.
- High blood pressure — Narrow blood vessels in your eyes are one of the first signs of high blood pressure. There are simple tests an optometrist can do to check this out further..
- Eye “strokes” — You should head to the optometrist if your peripheral vision has been worse lately. While not common, eye “strokes” block normal blood flow to the optic nerve, and may lead to vision loss.
Also a fun fact: your eyes are the only place in your body where it’s possible to directly examine blood vessels without cutting you open. Cool, right?