Skip to main content
Toll Free (844)-581-2020
Menu
Meditationslide
Home »

eye exam

Your Eyes Are the Windows to Your Health

Your eyes aren’t just the windows to your soul — they can also reveal valuable information about your general health beyond whether you need glasses, including: diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer. It is not unusual for people to come in for an eye exam just to check their eyesight and then have certain health issues or predispositions picked up by the optometrist. 

Eye Exams and Your Health

Eye examinations can help doctors detect general health conditions early enough to intervene. Advanced screenings enable eye doctors to better predict cardiovascular incidents like stroke, and possibly detect signs of mental changes such as Alzheimer’s. Read below to learn how eye exams can unveil a whole lot more than just eye health.

Brain Cancer & Stroke

Because of the similarities between the blood vessels in the eye and brain, an eye doctor can occasionally detect an issue taking place in the brain by examining the blood vessels in the eyes. If swelling or shadows in the eye is observed, it may indicate a serious condition in the brain, like a tumor, or clots that might result in a stroke.

Diabetes

Diabetes can cause damage to the blood vessels in the retina at the back of the eye, resulting in Diabetic Retinopathy (DR) and Diabetic Macular Edema (DME). If an optometrist detects leaky blood vessels in the eye, the patient would be advised to see a doctor to help control their blood sugar. Changes are gradual, and they start before visual symptoms are noticed. The earlier diabetic eye disease is managed, the better the chances are of preserving eyesight. 

Hypertension

High blood pressure, characterized by having too much pressure in the blood vessels, can be detected during an eye exam, sometimes even before it’s diagnosed by your regular doctor. The damaged blood vessels lead to swelling, hemorrhages, and leaking — all of which can be observed in the eyes. According to the CDC, hypertension “the silent killer” affects nearly 1 in 3 adults, and up to a whopping 20% of those don’t even know they have it. So early detection at an eye doctor’s evaluation can be truly life-saving.

High Cholesterol 

Eye exams can also detect a buildup of cholesterol. High cholesterol is among the easiest conditions to spot during a complete eye exam, as the cholesterol deposits manifest on the front of the eye, appearing as a thin, gray rim around the cornea. It can also be detected in the retina by assessing artery and vein patterns.

These deposits may indicate the current or future development of Retinal Blood Vessel Occlusion, a condition where blockages restrict blood flow to the back of the eye, causing temporary or permanent vision loss. 

Heart Conditions

In some cases, heart conditions associated with a buildup of plaque in the carotid artery in the heart can also lead to deposits that clog the ocular arteries in the eye. If an optometrist detects such changes to the vascular structure at the back of the eye, he or she will typically recommend going to a specialist.

Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

Sudden vision loss may be attributed to Multiple Sclerosis (MS). While the optometrist can recognize signs indicating the presence of MS, such as the color and appearance of the optic nerve, such cases will be referred for further testing to confirm the diagnosis.

Thyroid

Thyroid disease can make itself apparent through the eyes in several ways. The thyroid gland controls the hormones that regulate tear production so some thyroid disorders can cause dry eye disease. Additionally, overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) can make the extraocular muscles enlarge and stiffen, causing bulging eyes — an indicator of Graves’ disease. 

Inflammation

Systemic conditions that are associated with inflammation in the body can have an inflammatory effect on the eyes. Uveitis, for example, causes eye inflammation, redness, and blurred vision, and tends to occur in people with lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and other autoimmune diseases. 

Cancer

Breast cancer, leukemia, and other metastatic cancers are occasionally discovered during an eye evaluation. In addition to brain cancer mentioned above, melanoma and basal cell carcinoma (skin cancer) can be detected, and eye doctors can also diagnose lymphoma and other eye tumors. Eye exams save lives.

What the Future Holds 

Alzheimer’s 

Recent studies show that a non-invasive and precise imaging device called Octa (optical coherence tomography angiography) can signal the presence of eye changes associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Because the retina is in many ways an extension of the brain, the altered blood vessels at the back of the eye offer a glimpse into the changes taking place within the brain.

Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s Disease can often be misdiagnosed as its early symptoms are characteristic of other conditions. Research has shown that subtle eye tremors, an early Parkinson’s marker, could be detectable using advanced eye exam technology. One day soon, practitioners may send patients to an eye doctor to test for this and other diseases.

Your Eye Doctor’s Appointment Could Change Your Life

So the next time you visit Dr. Ghislaine Lauzon at Campbell River Optometry Centre in Campbell River, remember that a comprehensive eye exam can do more than determine your eyeglasses or contacts prescription. Dr. Ghislaine Lauzon can evaluate your eyes for existing or potential health issues, and communicate them to your primary care physician for the best possible care. By knowing that you’re at risk for a certain disease, you can take precautions early on and manage the condition as needed. After all, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Wearing Colored Contact Lenses This Halloween? Beware and Take Care!

Countless adults, teens and even children will be wearing colored contact lenses this Halloween, but few are aware of the risks involved. Ever wondered what those cat-eye contacts are doing to your eyes? If you got them without a prescription, beware of health complications.

Enjoy a safe and happy Halloween by educating yourself and others about the dangers of wearing colored contact lenses without a prescription.

Why Can Over-The-Counter Colored Contact Lenses Cause Eye Damage?

Contact lenses made to change one’s appearance go by many names: cosmetic, theatrical, Halloween, circle, decorative, colored, or costume contact lenses. While it’s illegal to sell colored contact lenses without a prescription, authorities rarely enforce the law — which means they’re still accessible in many places.

Many people believe that wearing non-prescription color contact lenses can cause no harm. This unfortunate myth has led to many contact lens complications. For instance, when a person feels that a contact lens is “dry”, it could be because the lens is not a good fit. Ideally, the lens should follow the contour of the eye, and stay centered, with enough lens movement to allow tear exchange beneath the lens.

Campbell River Optometry Centre Eye Clinic and Colored Contact Lenses, Halloween in Campbell River, British Columbia

Many eye diseases can be quickly and easily diagnosed during a comprehensive eye exam. If you were diagnosed with an eye disease, such as Cataracts, Glaucoma, Macular degeneration, Diabetic retinopathy, or Dry eye, you may be overwhelmed by the diagnosis and confused about what happens next. Will you need medications or surgery – now or in the future? Our Campbell River eye doctor has prepared the following answers to your questions about eye disease.

Furthermore, non-medical colored contact lenses are often produced by unlicensed manufacturers that tend to use inferior plastic and toxic materials, such as lead (often used in lens coloring), which can get absorbed through the eyes into the bloodstream. These illegal lenses may also contain high levels of bacteria from unsanitary packaging, shipping, and storage conditions.

Therefore, purchasing any kind of contact lenses without a prescription or medical oversight can result in a variety of eye complications, such as corneal abrasions, eye sores, conjunctivitis, other eye infections, vision impairment and, in rare cases, even permanent vision loss.

Even if you have perfect vision, all contact lenses, including colored contacts, require a prescription and proper fitting by an optometrist.

Contact us at Campbell River Optometry Centre and make an appointment with us to get properly examined for a contact lens prescription.

Local Colored Contact Lenses, Halloween in Campbell River, British Columbia

Read what our patients have to say on Google Reviews

The Dos and Don’ts of Colored Contact Lenses

DO make sure you undergo a comprehensive eye exam by an optometrist who will measure your eyes and properly fit you for contact lenses.

DO get a valid prescription that includes the measurements, expiration date and the contact lens brand name.

DO purchase the decorative contact lenses from a reliable retailer (hint: they should demand a prescription.)

DO follow the contact lens hygiene directives (cleaning, inserting and removing lenses) provided by your eye doctor.

DO make sure to undergo follow-up eye exams as directed by your eye care professional. DON’T ever share contact lenses with anyone else.

So don’t let an eye infection get in the way of your fun this Halloween. Wearing decorative lenses without a valid prescription can result in serious harm to your eyes, which can haunt you long after October 31st.

Get your comprehensive eye exam and contact lens fitting by an eye doctor in Campbell River at Campbell River Optometry Centre.

Call Campbell River Optometry Centre on 844-581-2020 to schedule an eye exam with our Campbell River optometrist.

Alternatively book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

FOLLOW US


Just in case you missed them, here are some of our previous blog posts :

Living With Low Vision

Is Your Teen Ready for Contacts?

AMD Awareness Could Save Your Vision

12 Tips for Optimal Eye Health

Do I really need to check my eyes ?

Campbell River Optometry Centre eye care Campbell River,British Columbia

Everyone, regardless of age or physical condition, is recommended to go for regular eye exams.

Thorough evaluations of your eye health and vision by Dr. Lauzon are the best way to check for signs of vision conditions and ocular disease.

At Campbell River Optometry Centre, our optometrists will inspect your eyes thoroughly, using first-rate skill and advanced diagnostic technology. Your vision matters to us, and we will consider the individual needs and health of each patient. We are located conveniently in Campbell River, British Columbia, and we are pleased to serve patients from the greater area.

The importance of routine eye exams

Early detection of many typical adult eye diseases can have a powerful effect on the success of treatment. When we examine your eyes in our office in Campbell River, British Columbia, we will take a very close look for signs of disease that may still be symptom less. To prevent future vision loss or complications, we’ll begin treatment as soon as possible.

With children, an undetected vision condition could harm their ability to learn properly.

Common eye problems that are diagnosed in children include astigmatism, nearsightedness, farsightedness and weak eye teaming. If your child is diagnosed with any of these problems during our comprehensive pediatric eye exam, we will determine the most effective treatments. Eye exams can thereby prevent or lead to resolution of many learning problems in school.

When should you schedule your comprehensive eye exam?

The American Optometric Association (AOA) issued the following guidelines:

Children

  1. First eye exam at 6 months old, to check that the visual system is developing normally
  2. Second eye exam at 3 years old
  3. Complete eye and vision evaluation prior to entering school, around age 5-6. If no vision problems are diagnosed, then follow-up examinations should be done at least every 2 years. If your child needs vision correction, then exams must be scheduled at least once a year.

Children who have any of these risk factors should come in for eye exams more frequently:

  1. Premature birth
  2. Crossed or turned eyes
  3. Family history of eye disease
  4. Other physical disease
  5. History of eye injury
  • Delayed development Adults Until age 40, if no vision correction (such as eyeglasses or contact lenses) is needed, then complete eye assessments should be performed every two or three years.
  • After 40 years old, annual eye exams are encouraged. The incidence of many common eye diseases and vision problems rises as you age, and we will check for conditions such as presbyopia, cataracts, macular degeneration and glaucoma.
  • Everyone over age 60 is strongly recommended to schedule frequent eye exams.
  • Any adult who has a health issue, such as hypertension or diabetes, may require additional eye exams, as advised by an eye doctor.

What will happen at your comprehensive eye exam?

Our team of experienced optometrists will use many different testing procedures to check your eyes. Our Campbell River, PA, office is fully equipped with the latest equipment. To determine visual acuity, you will be asked to read a standard eye chart and we will check refractive error. To diagnose or rule out any eye diseases, we will inspect your inner eye tissues with a high-powered lens. This exam also provides significant information about your overall health.

For more information about comprehensive eye examinations Call Campbell River Optometry Centre on (250) 287-2020 in Campbell River, British Columbia to schedule an eye exam with our optometrist, Dr. Lauzon.

FOLLOW US

Alternatively book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT