Why an eye check could save your life
These serious conditions can be detected by an optometrist, who can then refer you to your GP.
1 DIABETES A high blood-glucose level can damage blood vessels. The optometrist looks for small leaks at the back of the eye. 2 HYPERTENSION (HIGH BLOOD Pressure) Linked with stroke, heart disease and vascular dementia, it affects one in three UK adults but is often symptomless. The blood vessels in the retina will be wiggly due to the force of the blood passing through – which can lead to haemorrhaging. 3 CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE High cholesterol can cause blood vessel blockages leading to ‘blind spots’. Small lumps or cholesterol particles can be seen during a test. 4 EYE CANCER As with any part of the body, cancerous growths can occur inside the eye. 5 MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS This causes inflammation of the optic nerve, which transmits information to the brain. Your optometrist should spot this during a check-up.