Issues That Can Be Detected During A Routine Eye Exam

Posted on: 29 July 2020

Routine eye exams are often thought of as being for the diagnosis of vision problems, only. This is, after all, most people's experience; they go in for an eye exam, and they're sent home with a prescription for glasses or contacts. In reality, though, your eye doctor is assessing a lot more than just your visual acuity during a routine eye exam. You may not realize this until they mention a specific ailment to you, but they are also keeping an eye out (and in some cases, specifically testing for) the following issues, too.


Did you know you can get cancer in your eyes? There are a few types that people can develop, but one of the most common is ocular melanoma, a cancer of the pigment-producing cells at the back of your eye. Luckily, your eye doctor can keep an eye out for the signs of ocular cancer just by looking at your eyes with a special microscope. You may not even notice they're doing this since they don't always mention it unless they see something concerning. However, since eye cancer does not often cause symptoms until it is really serious, it is important to have your eye doctor look at your eyes for these early signs.


Unfortunately, there are a lot of people walking around with undiagnosed diabetes. A blood test would diagnose this disease easily, but since many people do not get routine blood tests, it's quite common for eye doctors to be the first ones who mention any signs of diabetes to a patient. An eye doctor can often tell if you are diabetic just by looking at your retina, as sustained high blood sugar can cause retinal damage. If they do suspect diabetes, they will suggest you go into your general physician's office for further testing and treatment.

Autoimmune Diseases

It is common for autoimmune diseases like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis to cause eye-related symptoms, like dryness and red eyes, before they cause other, better-known symptoms. Your eye doctor probably won't be able to tell you which autoimmune disease you have just by looking at your eyes, but they will certainly alert you that further testing is a good idea if your eye health suggests an autoimmune problem.

Visiting your eye doctor for routine eye exams is not just about getting glasses. It's also about making sure other, serious ailments do not go unnoticed any longer than needed.

If you want to learn some more about routine eye exams, feel free to contact companies like Leader Heights Eye Center for more info.