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Your Eyes Are The Windows To Your Health

Your eyes aren’t just the windows to your soul — they can also reveal valuable information about your general health beyond whether you need glasses, including: diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer. It is not unusual for people to come in for an eye exam just to check their eyesight and then have certain health issues or predispositions picked up by the optometrist.

Eye Exams and Your Health

Eye examinations can help doctors detect general health conditions early enough to intervene. Advanced screenings enable eye doctors to better predict cardiovascular incidents like stroke, and possibly detect signs of mental changes such as Alzheimer’s. Read below to learn how eye exams can unveil a whole lot more than just eye health.

Brain Cancer & Stroke

Because of the similarities between the blood vessels in the eye and brain, an eye doctor can occasionally detect an issue taking place in the brain by examining the blood vessels in the eyes. If swelling or shadows in the eye is observed, it may indicate a serious condition in the brain, like a tumor, or clots that might result in a stroke.


Diabetes can cause damage to the blood vessels in the retina at the back of the eye, resulting in Diabetic Retinopathy (DR) and Diabetic Macular Edema (DME). If an optometrist detects leaky blood vessels in the eye, the patient would be advised to see a doctor to help control their blood sugar. Changes are gradual, and they start before visual symptoms are noticed. The earlier diabetic eye disease is managed, the better the chances are of preserving eyesight.


High blood pressure, characterized by having too much pressure in the blood vessels, can be detected during an eye exam, sometimes even before it’s diagnosed by your regular doctor. The damaged blood vessels lead to swelling, hemorrhages, and leaking — all of which can be observed in the eyes. According to the CDC, hypertension “the silent killer” affects nearly 1 in 3 adults, and up to a whopping 20% of those don’t even know they have it. So early detection at an eye doctor’s evaluation can be truly life-saving.

High Cholesterol

Eye exams can also detect a buildup of cholesterol. High cholesterol is among the easiest conditions to spot during a complete eye exam, as the cholesterol deposits manifest on the front of the eye, appearing as a thin, gray rim around the cornea. It can also be detected in the retina by assessing artery and vein patterns.

These deposits may indicate the current or future development of Retinal Blood Vessel Occlusion, a condition where blockages restrict blood flow to the back of the eye, causing temporary or permanent vision loss.

Heart Conditions

In some cases, heart conditions associated with a buildup of plaque in the carotid artery in the heart can also lead to deposits that clog the ocular arteries in the eye. If an optometrist detects such changes to the vascular structure at the back of the eye, he or she will typically recommend going to a specialist.

Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

Sudden vision loss may be attributed to Multiple Sclerosis (MS). While the optometrist can recognize signs indicating the presence of MS, such as the color and appearance of the optic nerve, such cases will be referred for further testing to confirm the diagnosis.


Thyroid disease can make itself apparent through the eyes in several ways. The thyroid gland controls the hormones that regulate tear production so some thyroid disorders can cause dry eye disease. Additionally, overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) can make the extraocular muscles enlarge and stiffen, causing bulging eyes — an indicator of Graves’ disease.


Systemic conditions that are associated with inflammation in the body can have an inflammatory effect on the eyes. Uveitis, for example, causes eye inflammation, redness, and blurred vision, and tends to occur in people with lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and other autoimmune diseases.


Breast cancer, leukemia, and other metastatic cancers are occasionally discovered during an eye evaluation. In addition to brain cancer mentioned above, melanoma and basal cell carcinoma (skin cancer) can be detected, and eye doctors can also diagnose lymphoma and other eye tumors. Eye exams save lives.

What the Future Holds


Recent studies show that a non-invasive and precise imaging device called Octa (optical coherence tomography angiography) can signal the presence of eye changes associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Because the retina is in many ways an extension of the brain, the altered blood vessels at the back of the eye offer a glimpse into the changes taking place within the brain.

Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s Disease can often be misdiagnosed as its early symptoms are characteristic of other conditions. Research has shown that subtle eye tremors, an early Parkinson’s marker, could be detectable using advanced eye exam technology. One day soon, practitioners may send patients to an eye doctor to test for this and other diseases.

Special Offer For Our Younger Patients!!



While supplies last.  For patients up to 12 years old.  Offer expires 8/31/13. 



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Stay connected with North Garland Vision by becoming a fan on our Facebook page.  Like us between now and June 17th and you will be automatically entered to win a gift basket of fun items as well as a $50 gift certificate which can be used towards any products or services we offer.  The winner will be announced on June 18th. Some restrictions apply and sorry, offer good only for new likes between the period of 5/17/13 to 6/17/13.  

i.Scription Technology by Zeiss

Looking directly at a light source at night, such as car lights, results in glare and halo effects. These are reduced by i.Scription technology by ZEISS.  Seeing contrast, i.e. white letters on black background, is especially challenging for the eyes. i.Scription technology sharpens contrast.  i.Scription adds more brilliance to your life and lets you see colors as they really are: bright and more intense.

See more using i.Profiler plus by ZEISS.  i.Scription by ZEISS is based on data collected from the i.Profilerplus— an instrument designed to determine the exact “fingerprint” of your eyes. This makes it possible to produce ZEISS Customized lenses using i.Scription and deliver your best vision possible.  1,500 measuring points are used to determine an exact visual profile of your eye. Even the slightest deviations from the ideal shape of the eye can impact your vision. Based on your personal visual profile, ZEISS determines your best prescription possible


We have listened to your Patient survey requests and have enhanced the number of frames we have to choose from.  Our brands include:


Banana Republic

Calvin Klein



Diane vonFurstenburg


Emilio Pucci






Hugo Boss

Juicy Couture

Kate Spade

Maui Jim

Michael Kors






Tommy Hilfiger

Tres Jolie      

Wilely X

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You are invited to join us for a color contact lens trunk show!  Find out why stunning eye color now feels as good as it looks with Air Optix Color contact lenses. Try on these amazingly comfortable contacts in the office and/or do a virtual try-on.  Register to win prizes that include a pair of non-prescription designer sunglasses.  Our Air Optix Colors representative will be here to answer all of your questions.  Please join us for color fashion, drawings, and refreshments!