The next time you visit your optometrist or ophthalmologist for your routine eye exam, your eyes will be checked for glaucoma, cataracts, and other eye diseases that can result in visual changes. Eye exams can also reveal other diseases such as diabetes.
If you have diabetes, your examination may reveal signs of diabetic retinopathy, which if not recognized and treated, may lead to permanent vision loss. Eye examinations can also uncover signs that may be consistent with blood abnormalities. If your eye doctor discovers the following signs during your examination, they may suspect that you have a blood disorder.
Subconjunctival hemorrhages appear as bright red spots on the white part, or sclera, of your eye. They are the result of broken blood vessels in your eye and may develop after an injury or from an extreme coughing episode.
If your eye doctor discovers subconjunctival hemorrhages during your eye exam, they may ask you if you have a cough or if you sustained any type of eye trauma. If no cause is found, your eye doctor may advise you to make an appointment with your primary care physician. Broken blood vessels inside your eye may mean that you have a blood platelet disorder that can be diagnosed through a simple test known as a CBC, or a complete blood count.
Another sign of a blood disorder may be conjunctival paleness. To check for this condition, your eye doctor will examine the rims of your lower eyelids. If the rims and insides of your lower lids are pale and do not appear pinkish or red, then your eye doctor may suspect iron-deficient anemia or other blood disorder. Your eye doctor may ask you about your dietary habits and if you take aspirin regularly.
Diets low in iron can cause conjunctival paleness and regular aspirin use can cause gastrointestinal bleeding that can result in anemia. If your conjunctival paleness is related to a low-iron diet or medication, it may resolve once you consume more iron or stop taking the offending medication. If your cardiologist prescribed a daily aspirin to decrease your risk for heart attack and stroke, do not stop taking it without getting your doctor's approval.
If you notice any unusual ocular signs, make an appointment with your eye doctor. When eye abnormalities are addressed early on, you will be more likely to enjoy a more favorable prognosis. Contact an eye doctor for more information about eye exams.
My name is Shawna Banks and this is a blog that focuses on health issues that affect women. I became interested in women's health when my sister began having medical problems. After her condition worsened, she went to see a doctor. After her diagnosis and successful treatment, I helped her research the different kinds of health conditions that are common in women. By becoming knowledgeable about these types of problems, we can keep ourselves healthier. I hope that when you read this blog, it will help you to identify symptoms that shouldn't be ignored. If necessary, you can schedule an appointment with your physician as soon as possible.