When you go to the eye doctor, you can expect to receive feedback on your eyesight and eye health—but did you know that your eye doctor may also possess insight into your heart health? In the human body, most things are interconnected—even when they seem completely unrelated. So how on earth can your eye doctor predict you’re at risk for heart attack, stroke, and more?
It begins in the retinal veins, AKA the veins in the eyes. These veins are reflective of other small veins and arteries, like those in the brain and heart. If the veins in one’s heart or brain are damaged or clogged, that damage will also be present in the eyeball’s veins. When your doctor observes your eyes, they will see these veins and arteries, which gives them a VIP scope into your overall health.
Also indicative of heart problems, including leaky aortic heart valves, heart disease, hypertension, and high cholesterol, are discoloration in the eyeball, nasal-facial bumps, and blockage in the eye’s blood vessels. A gray ring around the iris and yellow bumps near the nose and around the eyes may suggest a patient is suffering from high cholesterol. Blockage in the eye’s blood vessels may also be indicative of retinal artery occlusion, which is linked to high rates of stroke.
Your eye doctor’s expertise is effective for much more than vision care. It’s possible that your eye doctor will be the first to recognize if you’re at risk of heart attack or stroke. In short, you may even say eye doctors hold the keys to our hearts.
To schedule your annual eye exam, give us a call at (559) 486-2000.