Diabetic eye disease

Older man wearing glasses

Your eyes serve as windows to the world, but they can also provide a glimpse into the overall health of your body. Regular eye exams can lead to early prevention, detection, or treatment of several health concerns. Below are three health issues that can be detected by an eye exam.


Before developing type two diabetes, people almost always have prediabetes. This is when a person’s blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not high enough for a diabetes diagnosis. Early detection is key. Since blurred vision is one of the first signs of diabetes, your eye doctor may be the first health professional to see you while you’re still in the “pre-diabetic” state and can take steps to keep the disease from progressing.

Undiagnosed diabetes

Diabetes occurs when your body cannot produce enough insulin, which results in high levels of glucose in the blood. Blurry vision can be one of the first signs of diabetes. However, diabetes can be diagnosed in an eye exam even if no symptoms are noticeable. People who are diagnosed can more easily get their diabetes under control, and save money on medical expenses.

Undiagnosed high blood pressure

Without intervention, high blood pressure – also known as hypertension – can have a serious impact on many areas of the body. Among its effects on the eye, hypertension can lead to bleeding, blurred vision, hypertensive retinopathy, and even blindness. Eye doctors can see signs of hypertension in the eye by observing the thickening of blood vessels.

Sources: All About Vision, AAO, AOA, Glaucoma.org, NIH.gov

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