Tuesday, August 14, 2012

In Your Eyes: What They Reveal About Your Health

As a retina specialist, I probably diagnose an unknown systemic disease once a week...
The eye is one of the few organs not covered by skin, so we get direct insight into what is going on in a person's body when we look into their eyes...

Because the body's systems are interconnected, changes in the eye can reflect those in the vascular, nervous and immune system, among others. And because the eyes are see-through in a way other organs aren't, they offer a unique glimpse into the body. Blood vessels, nerves and tissue can all be viewed directly through the eye with specialized equipment.

With regular monitoring, eye doctors can be the first to spot certain medical conditions and can usher patients for further evaluation, potentially leading to earlier diagnosis and treatment. 
The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends eye examinations whenever individuals notice any vision changes or injury. Adults with no symptoms or known risk factors for eye disease should get a base line exam by age 40 and return every two to four years for evaluations until their mid-50s. From 55 to 64, the AAO recommends exams every one to three years, and every one to two years for those 65 and older.

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