We’ve heard the saying that “one’s eyes are the window to the soul”, well what about the heart? Our eyes do a lot more than help us to see – they can also tell us a lot about other health problems including our heart.

1. High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure often has no symptoms in early stages and some patients may not realize they have high blood pressure until they come in for an eye exam. The eye is the one place in your body where your doctor can directly see your blood vessels. Eye doctors look at the blood vessels in your eye when checking the health of your retina and can determine if there are signs of high blood pressure based on their appearance. Having high blood pressure can lead to heart disease and stroke.

2. Diabetes

Diabetes is also a condition that is often identified through an eye exam. Eye doctors can detect problems in the small blood vessels of your eyes that may be caused by having high blood sugar. These patients are at risk of having diabetic retinopathy which can lead to blindness. Having high blood sugar is a sign of diabetes which can also lead to heart disease.

3. Carotid Artery Disease

Carotid arteries are the main blood vessels in your neck that send blood to your eyes and brain. Carotid artery disease is when blood flow through your carotid artery is blocked. With a dilated retinal exam, your eye doctor looks closely at the retinal arteries and can see if there are signs of a blockage. Patients who show signs of plaque in the arteries will need further cardiac testing immediately. Carotid artery disease is serious and can lead to a stroke.

4. Show Some Love to Your Eyes & Heart

An annual comprehensive eye exam is not only critical to the health of your eyes, but also your heart. Call 1-800-237-EYES (3937) to schedule your appointment today!