Your Eye Doctor Could Save Your Life

Here’s a new reason to keep your eye appointment: Subtle signs in your eyes could tell your doctor if you’re at risk of having a stroke.

When your doctor dilates your pupils, he/she uses his/her ophthalmoscope or takes a photograph to look for changes in the retina that signal retinopathy – ballooning or bursting of the tiny vessels of the retina. These signs can also tell doctors whether you have diabetes, high blood pressure and, in some cases, even cancer.

In an Australian study, researchers examined eye photos of 3,654 people. Those with blood vessel damage were about 70% more likely to have a stroke in the next seven years than those without the damage.

Study author Paul Mitchell, an ophthalmologist, is currently developing a second study to determine whether medications that lower blood pressure can decrease the risk. Until we know, keep up your regular eye doctor visits, and ask about your risk of retinopathy – and stroke.

Readers Digest – January 2006

For more information on eye and vision care issues visit and follow @EyeInfo on twitter


One Response

  1. Thanks.. That’s good to know. This you would not see in our free eye exam online

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