Do eye test, it can save your life! [MUST READ]



There’s a popular saying
among physicians, to the intent that the eye is the window to the body.
Even if you’ve never heard this before, have you noticed that when you
visit the doctor, one of the regular examinations he does is to gently
examine your eye? It’s not for nothing, it turns out.
Indeed, experts say, the body’s systems
are interconnected, such that changes in the eye can reflect

whatever
changes are ongoing in the vascular, nervous and immune system, among
others.

Researchers say that because the eyes
are see-through in a way other organs aren’t, they offer a unique
glimpse into the body, and the blood vessels, nerves and tissue can all
be viewed directly through the eye with the aid of specialised
equipment.
Numerous researches are being carried
out to determine how physicians can use the window of the eye to
correctly tell where a problem lurks in the body, and checkmate it
before it progresses further. Here are some of the diseases that can be
correctly diagnosed through the eye.
Diabetes
Experts say one of the well-known effects of diabetes is eye and vision damage, usually caused by diabetic retinopathy.
“This means that delicate blood vessels
in the eye swell or bleed; while they may also grow abnormally on the
retina itself. When this happens, it allows unprocessed blood sugars,
fats, and proteins to leak out of weakened blood vessels. And that is
what damages the retina and can cause vision loss,”
Diabetologist/Medical Director of Rainbow Specialist Medical Centre,
Lekki, Dr. Afokoghene Isiavwe, says.
An online portal, rnib.org.uk, notes
that the unusual changes in blood sugar levels resulting from diabetes
can affect the lens inside the eye, especially when the diabetes is not
being controlled via proper medical supervision. This can result in
blurring of vision, which comes and goes over the day, depending on the
patient’s blood sugar levels.
Isiavwe notes that cataract is the
resultant long-term effect of diabetes, being a condition that makes the
lens of the eye to go cloudy.
Not everyone who has diabetes develops
an eye complication, experts say. And of those that do, many patients
have a very mild form of retinopathy, which may never progress to a
condition that threatens the sight.
The American Diabetes Association notes
that roughly 90 per cent of diabetes-related blindness can be avoided by
getting an annual eye exam.
Isiavwe warns that in order to prevent
sight loss due to diabetic retinopathy, you should have regular retinal
screening. “Early detection and treatment may prevent sight loss,” she
declares.
Jaundice
General Practitioner, Dr. Abiola
Lanre-Iyanda, says if any disease could readily be detected via the
window of the eye, it is jaundice. She notes, “Jaundice is often more
prominent in the whites of the eyes.” She also warns that, depending on
the skin tone, it can be a sign of liver disease. An eye test enables
the patient to take charge of their health condition immediately,
Lanre-Iyanda says.
Advanced hypertension
Experts say this deadly disease can manifest as bleeding in new blood vessels, and cause the retina to detach.
Experts say the retina is the
light-sensitive layer of tissue at the back of the inner eye, which acts
like the film in a camera. Images come through the eye’s lens and are
focused on the retina. The retina then converts these images to electric
signals and sends them via the optic nerve to the brain.
The retina is normally red due to its
rich blood supply. An ophthalmoscope allows a health care provider to
see through your pupil and lens to the retina. If the provider sees any
changes in the colour or appearance of the retina, it may indicate a
disease.
Scottish scientists at the University of
Edinburgh say a simple eye test, such as taking a high-definition image
of the retina, could reveal problems with blood vessels that are
indicative of cardiac disease.
Again, physicians reveal that very high
blood pressure in anyone who is over the age of 30 can lead to crossings
in the blood vessels of the eye, where the artery has hardened and
probably severe the vein underneath. They warn that an eye test will
reveal a very high pressure that may cause blood vessels to burst and
haemorrhages to form. This test can, therefore, save thousands of heart
attack patients from sudden death, experts argue.
Sickle cell anaemia  
Physicians say while sickle cell disease
is present at birth, most infants don’t show any signs until they are
over four months old. They warn that the symptoms of the disease vary,
and that in some people, they are mild, while in others, they may be
severe and require hospitalisation.
Experts say sickle cell disease and
sickle cell trait can be diagnosed with a simple blood test; but
researchers now argue that the disease can also be diagnosed through
certain unusual characteristics in the eye.
They warn that yellowing of the eyes might, sometimes, be an indication of the disease, in addition to other known symptoms.
Colon cancer
Researchers are currently studying how
dark spots on the back of the eye, known as congenital hypertrophy of
the retinal pigment epithelium, are associated with certain forms of
colon cancer, and how dementia-related changes are signaled in the eye,
such as how the eye reacts to light.
HIV/AIDS
Tell the average person to go for HIV
screening, and he wonders why. Yet, even if you are afraid to know your
HIV status, a simple eye test can still reveal what is going on in your
bloodstream.
According to researchers, HIV/AIDS, lupus and other autoimmune diseases can be detected through certain eye examinations.
Scientists say this is because the
diseases can cause the retina to become severely inflamed, and
consequently lead to blindness if adequate care is not taken.
Stroke
Experts say sometimes, symptoms of
stroke develop gradually. But when an individual is having a stroke, he
might likely have one or more sudden warning signs, including inability
to see with one or both eyes.
Lanre-Iyanda says sudden difficulty
seeing in one or both eyes can be the sign of a stroke. “And that’s why
an eye test could reveal whether a part or the entire sight has been
damaged or missing. When this happens, it will certainly correlate with
the side of the brain affected by the stroke,” she intones.
To stay safe, go for eye test today, and make it a twice-a-year habit afterwards.

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