You schedule regular comprehensive eye exams to be proactive in keeping your eyes and vision healthy. While a routine eye exam is essential to your eye health, it can also be necessary for staying healthy.

During a comprehensive eye exam, your eye doctor can not only detect signs of developing eye disease, but they can also detect signs of other potentially serious threats to your health. Because an eye exam often includes a blood pressure check and a health history review, an eye exam can be another way to detect serious health problems.

Keep reading to learn about some health conditions and common diseases that can present symptoms that affect your eyes!

High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is often the first sign of the onset of serious health threats like heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes. Having high blood pressure also contributes to the beginning or increased progression of concerning eye conditions like glaucoma and macular degeneration.

During a comprehensive eye exam, your eye doctor can see unusually bent, kinked, or bleeding blood vessels in the back of the eye or increased pressure within the eye. These are all early signs of dangerously high blood pressure. 

High Cholesterol

Your eyes can show signs of high cholesterol levels if your eye doctor notices a yellow or blue ring around your cornea. This is more likely for patients under 40. Because high cholesterol levels in the body have been linked to strokes, it is vital to diagnose this health condition as early as possible.

Heart Disease 

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in America, making early diagnosis and treatment key. An eye doctor may be able to see the early signs of heart disease when examining the retina during a routine eye exam.

You may suffer from heart disease if your retina shows marks left behind by eye strokes. Heart disease can trigger eye strokes by decreasing circulation, mainly while you are sleeping. 


Untreated diabetes can have a massive impact on the health of your eyes, causing vision problems and even vision loss. Your eyes can be one of the places where the sign of developing diabetes first appear.

If your eye doctor sees blood vessels in the retina leaking blood or yellow fluid, diabetic retinopathy may be the cause. Diabetic retinopathy is often one of the first ways diabetes impacts your health and can lead to vision loss.

Vitamin A Deficiency

A healthy diet rich in vitamin A is vital to maintaining the health of your vision. Vitamin A boosts the immune system. It also helps reduce your risk of developing macular degeneration, which can lead to vision loss.

Experiencing chronic dry eyes and increased night blindness can alert your eye doctor to a potential vitamin A deficiency. When caught early, some of the effects of this deficiency can be reversed, restoring your clear, comfortable vision.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis, a chronic inflammatory disease, can not only cause joint pain, but it can also cause painful eye inflammation. An eye doctor would likely be the medical professional who would diagnose and treat scleritis. 

Scleritis is a painful inflammation of the white part of your eye. Scleritis, as well as dry eye, is one of the possible signs of developing rheumatoid arthritis.

Lyme Disease

Once a rare, localized disease, Lyme disease has increased dramatically in all parts of the country in the past ten years. Lyme disease affects the body by causing harmful inflammation, including in the eyes.

If someone has not seen the tell-tale signs of Lyme disease, like an embedded tick or a bullseye rash, they may not know they have it. An eye doctor may suggest you get tested for Lyme after an eye exam if you have an inflamed optic nerve or an increase in the incidence of floaters disturbing your clear vision. 

Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis, or MS, is a disabling neurological condition diagnosed mainly before age 50. The disease can cause permanent damage or deterioration of your body’s nerve fibers, including those in your eyes.

If your eye doctor notices a pronounced inflammation of the optic nerve, it could be a sign of developing MS. This inflammation can lead to eye problems like severely blurred vision, double vision, and painful eye movement.


Certain vision problems can be signs that you have an increased risk for stroke. If blood vessels in the retina are blocked or contain clots, it can cause you to have sudden blindspots or dimmed vision.

During a dilated eye exam, your eye doctor can see abnormal blood vessels with blockages or clots. Knowing the signs of a potential stroke is the best way to take the necessary steps to lessen or eliminate the risk of stroke.

Brain Tumors

Not all brain tumors are cancerous or fatal. Even a minor brain tumor can impact your body’s ability to function correctly. Brain tumors can seriously impede your speech, movement, and cognitive abilities.

There are several signs an eye doctor may notice that could indicate a brain tumor. These signs include swelling near the back of the eye that causes changes to the optic nerve, loss of side vision, double vision, tunnel vision, and changes to the size of the pupil.

If you are in relatively good health, your eye exam may be the only medical appointment you schedule all year. While you make these appointments to protect the health of your eyes and the quality of your vision, they can also be a critical way to protect your health.

You can protect your eyes and body by scheduling a comprehensive eye exam. Schedule yours at Batra Vision Medical Group in San Leandro, CA! Isn’t it time to make your eyes a priority?