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How an eye exam can protect you against stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes and more

Vision issues may signal other serious health issues

Regular eye examinations are important for vision care, but these visits also can reveal the first signs of health issues hiding elsewhere in the body. The eyes can serve as a window for doctors to see inside the body and detect other health problems. During an eye examination, a doctor can check blood vessels, nerves and connective tissues for abnormalities that may indicate serious health problems. Thinking about skipping your annual eye exam? Don’t. Taking preventive measures is key to taking care of your health.

Continue reading to find out about five health conditions that can be detected from an eye exam.

High blood pressure

Uncontrolled high blood pressure is known as the silent killer because the symptoms are hard to detect. One of the subtle symptoms is a change to the retina. The tiny blood vessels that supply blood to the eye can be damaged by high blood pressure. This damage can be detected during an eye examination. Unless steps are taken to control high blood pressure, permanent vision damage and other serious health issues can occur.

Autoimmune diseases

Itchy eyes, sensitivity to light or other bothersome vision changes may be symptoms of an autoimmune disease. Celiac disease, ulcerative colitis and rheumatoid arthritis are among the many autoimmune diseases with early symptoms connected to the eyes. Getting proper treatment can relieve the eye problems and other health issues.


When the delicate blood vessels in the retina leak a yellow fluid or blood, it can be a sign of diabetic retinopathy. This condition can be detected before a person has been diagnosed with diabetes. Early detection can help minimize vision loss and control other symptoms of diabetes.


The blood vessels inside the retina can become blocked which can create sudden blind spots or vision loss. This condition can indicate an increased risk for a stroke. Identifying this risk makes it possible to take steps to reduce stroke risk and avoid serious health issues.

Thyroid disease

Eyes that seem to protrude or eyelids that sink back into the eye are both signs of thyroid disease. Dry eyes, blurry vision or vision loss can also occur with thyroid disease. When the thyroid gland produces too much or too little hormone, the body is unable to regulate the body’s use of energy, which can lead to a variety of issues including breathing problems, fatigue, sleep disruption and hand tremors. Steps can be taken to control thyroid disease to correct eye issues and avoid serious future complications.

Making health a priority

Scheduling an annual eye exam as well as a physical are two effective ways to stay in control of your health. Many serious health conditions can be controlled or even avoided when diagnosed early. Being proactive about your health can help improve the quality and length of life. When a serious health event that requires a hospital stay does occur, keep on top of the situation by choosing an effective recovery option. Instead of just hoping you will recover quickly, plan to regain strength and balance faster and safer by staying in a short-term, post-hospital rehabilitation center like Whitehall of Deerfield. A stay at this top-notch rehabilitation center will mean getting the best care available in an attractive and comfortable setting so that a return to an active lifestyle can happen as quickly as possible.

Whitehall of Deerfield has consistently received Medicare’s highest rating in Medicare’s five-star rating system of nursing and post-hospital rehabilitation centers. Whitehall of Deerfield is also ranked among the top 1% of all Illinois post-hospital rehabilitation and nursing care centers by Newsweek — and has consistently received both U.S. News & World Report’s and Medicare’s highest five-star rating.

Learn more about the individualized, one-on-one therapy programs, world-class amenities and COVID-19 safety measures by visiting WhitehallofDeerfield.com or calling 847-945-4600.

300 Waukegan Road Deerfield, IL 60015 | 847.945.4600