6 Serious Health Issues A Comprehensive Eye Exam Can Detect

6 Serious Health Issues A Comprehensive Eye Exam Can Detect

When it comes to scheduling preventive health appointments, eye exams are often overlooked.

Unfortunately, most people believe that they only require an eye exam if they notice any changes in their eyesight. But, an eye exam serves a far bigger purpose than just detecting vision problems. Comprehensive eye exams are key in detecting any other health problems that can easily go undetected such as hypertension, diabetes,  and cancer. 

The Canadian Association Of Optometrists recommends adults visit their optometrist for a comprehensive exam once every two years as a preventative measure for both their vision and overall health.

6 Health Problems Comprehensive Eye Exams Can Detect

Because of the eye’s small nerves and blood vessels, delicate structures, and close proximity to your brain, a comprehensive eye exam is one of the least invasive steps you can take to protect your overall health. Receiving regular eye exams regardless of visual acuity can help detect serious eye and health problems at the earliest stage ─ when they are most treatable.


Did you know that over a million Canadians are living with undiagnosed diabetes? Diabetes can be easily detected by your optometrist just by looking into your eyes. Diabetes affects the small capillaries in the retina in your eye causing them to rupture and leak blood or yellowish fluid. This condition is called retinopathy and can lead to serious vision problems if left untreated. If your Optometrist suspects you might be exhibiting signs of diabetic retinopathy during an eye exam, it’s important for you to speak with your primary doctor about it right away.


A comprehensive eye exam includes tests of peripheral vision and eye muscle function that can often be the first line of detection of a brain tumor. Brain tumours can cause loss of peripheral vision or can damage the nerves that determine eye function resulting in abnormal eye movements or double vision. Droopy eyelids or irregular eye structure are also indications of a brain tumour that can be detected during your comprehensive eye exam. Skin cancer can also be detected by your optometrist, as lesions called basal cell carcinomas can show up on the eyelid and even spread into the brain.

High Cholesterol

Individuals with high cholesterol will have either a blue or yellow ring located around their cornea. There might also be deposits of plaque in the blood vessels of the retina which could also indicate high levels of cholesterol.

Thyroid Disease

Your thyroid gland plays a very important role in things like your overall growth, metabolism, and can cause serious health problems if it is not functioning correctly or producing an adequate amount of hormones. One of the biggest telltale signs of thyroid disease is bulging of the eyes and retracting eyelids. This condition is called Graves Disease.

Autoimmune Diseases

If your eye is inflamed or extremely dry, you may be suffering from Dry Eye Syndrome or an autoimmune disease such as Lupus. Your optometrist will be able to determine the cause of your inflamed eyes to begin appropriate treatments right away.

Lyme Disease

Lyme disease can easily go undetected and many people live with the disease without even realizing it. Individuals with the disease will often experience inflammation in their optic nerve and also tend to see “floaters” in their line of vision. Vsitinging your optometrist for regular eye exams will help detect the disease in the early stages to allow you to begin treatment as soon as possible.

Protect Your Health And Book A Comprehensive Eye Exam Today!

Visiting your optometrist regularly can help protect your eyes and make sure you are able to see for years to come while also giving insight into your overall health. Health problems can be detected way before they actually occur, hence allowing you to take precautionary measures and begin treatment as soon as possible. 

Specs in the City Optometry provides children, adults, and senior eye exams in SE Calgary to help safeguard your sight and overall ocular health. Our experienced optometrists use the latest technology to quickly and accurately diagnose any eye conditions you may be suffering from, so treatment may commence right away. Contact us today to book your comprehensive eye exam so we can help you see clearly for years to come!

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How often should adults visit their optometrist?

It is recommended that adults visit their optometrist for a regular comprehensive eye exam twice a year, but if your insurance covers it, once a year is ideal.

What happens if my optometrist detects one of these health problems during my exam?

If your optometrist detects any other health problems during your exam, they will refer you to a specialist and encourage you to visit your family practitioner right away to begin the next steps.

What are some common eye diseases that my optometrist can detect?

Your optometrist will be able to detect eye disorders and diseases such as:

  • Cataracts
  • Refractive errors
  • Diabetic retinopathy
  • Age-related macular degeneration
  • Glaucoma

If your optometrist detects any of these eye or vision problems, they will let you know during your exam so they can discuss treatment plans and next steps going forward.

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