Diagnosis of Systemic and Eye Diseases
It is a common phrase that “the eyes are the windows to the soul.”
Glaucomatous Optic Nerve
(darkened area in
center of eye)
Appearance of the Retina After Laser Treatment for Diabetes
- It is also true that “the eyes are the windows to your health.”
- More health issues can be identified or diagnosed through our eyes than any other part of our body. These could include:
- Hardening of the arteries
- Brain Tumors
- A comprehensive eye exam offers more than a goal to improve vision. In addition to checking for eye diseases like Macular Degeneration and Glaucoma (one of the leading causes of preventable blindness worldwide), an eye exam can identify signs of problems going on in other parts of the body.
- It is estimated than less than half of people with diabetes (another leading cause of blindness) have annual eye exams.
- Often, signs showing up in ones eyes will precede other symptoms. This allows us to consult with your primary care physician, or to refer to other medical specialists before serious complications set in.
- There are now some exciting options for people who have experienced vision loss due to stroke. Dr. Cohen has worked closely with a Harvard University optometrist who developed a special lens that literally moves images to an area of the retina that remained undamaged from the stroke. Dr. Cohen is one of the only doctors in Arizona who is providing this service to patients.
- One of the most common maladies we experience is often also one of the most difficult to understand: HEADACHES.
While most headaches are not related directly to our eyes, there are patterns that can be due to our eyes
- Typically dull, throbbing headaches in our forehead or temple area, usually later in the day
- Headaches related to glaucoma are extremely rare.
- Migraine sufferers often experience visual disturbances before the onset of the headache, and some people will experience these without the subsequent headache.
- For people who suffer from migraines, it can be worthwhile to check your peripheral vision (“visual fields testing”), as some migraine sufferers will experience a constriction of their peripheral vision (which can affect the ability to safely drive).
With the ability of our eyes to tell us so much more than just what we can see, there is really no such thing as a “routine eye exam.” Get your eyes examined regularly and stay healthy!