Catching Early Signs of Heart Disease with Eye Exams

Catching Early Signs of Heart Disease with Eye Exams

February 6, 2023  |  eye exams, heart disease, miami oxford
Eye doctor checking a man's eyes

Heart disease kills more Americans every year than any other single cause, including cancer.  

Many Americans have cardiovascular diseases that go undetected and worsen over time.  

Eye doctors may be able to detect signs of heart disease during a comprehensive eye exam. This study from the UC San Diego Health and Shiley Eye Institute found that people with heart disease tend to have retinas marked by evidence of an eye stroke.  

An eye stroke occurs when the eye is deprived of blood flow and oxygen leading to cell death. Eye strokes create a distinct mark called a retinal ischemic perivascular lesion. 

Your eye doctor can spot these marks and determine whether you are suffering from cardiovascular issues.  

This post will dive further into how an eye doctor can detect signs of heart disease through a regular eye exam.  


Heart Disease Seen in the Eyes 


The eyes are one of the only areas in the body where the blood vessels are easily observed. Other areas require invasive procedures, that can be costly and uncomfortable.  

That is a unique advantage that optometrists can offer. Since they have a window into the cardiovascular system, they can see signs of danger before other doctors.  

But how does the process work? 

The eyes are one of the main entry points into the body. Because of this, the blood vessels and nerves are exposed and easily examined.  

When your optometrists perform an eye exam, they look into the fine inner workings of the body and can see minute signs of damage that other doctors cannot see.  

Lesions caused by eye stroke may be present in low numbers in patients without heart disease. However, those who suffer from heart disease will have eye stroke lesions in much greater numbers than those that appear in the typical patient.  

Eye stroke lesions are spotted when optometrist use an imaging tool called optical coherence tomography (or OTC).  

Not only that, but OTC scans of the retina can detect other ailments in the body, not just the eyes. Eye scans can detect signs of Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and other underlying health conditions.  


Catching Heart Disease Early Can Save Lives 


Eye exams are better at catching dangerous diseases than ever before.  

The study from UC San Diego old adds to the potency of what optometrists can do to protect your health.  

Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States. Early treatment can help prevent a heart attack or stroke, and it can even save a life.  

In the future, optometrists may refer patients directly to cardiologists if they detect warning signs of heart disease in the eyes.  


Eye Exams You Can Count on in Oxford, Ohio 


If you are looking for the best in terms of eye care in Oxford, Ohio then look no further than Oxford Family Vision Care.  

Oxford Family Vision Care has decades of experience when it comes to maintaining eye health, and we can spot signs of heart disease before they threaten your health. 

We have all the latest tools, equipment, and expertise to ensure that your eyes are healthy, and your vision is completely corrected.  

We are located a short walk from Miami University, and we are focused on keeping your eyes in peak condition.  

If you need the best in terms of eye care in Oxford, Ohio, schedule your appointment with Oxford Family Vision today!