Asides from allowing you to see, your eyes can indicate the health of your heart. The arrangement of blood vessels at the back of your eyes is related to your heart’s health. Some of the health problems that reveal the connection between the eyes and the heart include hypertension or high blood pressure, blocked arteries, diabetes, and arthritis.
High blood pressure occurs when the force of blood against the walls of your artery is too high. When this happens in the eye’s blood vessels, it leads to retinopathy, a condition caused by damaged blood vessels at the retina. (back of the eyes) It results in blurred vision, bleeding in the eyes, blood clots, swelling, or stroke in the retina leading to a complete loss of sight. Ophthalmologists can examine your eye’s blood vessels to determine if you have high blood pressure or diabetes without using a blood pressure monitor. Since high blood pressure rarely has visible symptoms, you may not realize that you have it until you go for an eye examination.
Blocked arteries or arterial embolism happens when an embolus travels through your blood vessels and gets stuck in small arteries or organs like the brain that can restrict blood flow and cause stroke, tissue damage, or death. An embolus could be a blood clot, fatty deposit, or air bubble that lodges in a vessel leading to embolism.
Diabetes is commonly diagnosed with eye examinations. Like hypertension, it may not be discovered early due to its slow onset and absence of visible clues. When high blood sugar takes place in the eye’s blood vessels, it causes diabetic retinopathy, which affects your heart and kidneys. A medical expert at the University of Chicago School of medicine explained, “if we see someone that has evidence of diabetes, we know that diabetes promotes cardiovascular disease, heart disease” eye exams also detect inflammatory diseases that cause arthritis. Many conditions that cause arthritis in the eyes also lead to vision loss, redness, and dry eyes.
Research into the eye-heart connection is on-going. Numerous forms of technology for detecting ailments that affect the eyes and the heart abound. Visit us at Accent Eyes for regular eye exams to forestall any potential eye-heart complications.