Early Detection Of Eye Problems
Actor David Suchet, who plays Detective Hercule Poirot in the TV series of the same name, was alerted to the fact that he could have a problem with high cholesterol when a doctor who was a fan of the show wrote in. ‘He told me that I had white rings around the irises of my eyes which could show that cholesterol was a problem for me.’ Suchet duly had his cholesterol tested and was shown to be at risk of heart disease. He then adapted his diet and lifestyle accordingly.
Every year, around 16,000 people in Britain are diagnosed as having a brain tumor, according to Brain Tumour UK. Nearly 5000 of these could have been spotted at an early stage through a routine eye test. When a tumor is present in the brain it can cause the optic nerve to swell, making it seem enlarged and paler. The sufferer may also experience headaches and loss of vision.
Like many illnesses, early diagnosis of a brain tumor can be life-saving and prevent further damage to the brain tissue. If an early diagnosis is not made, the patient could end up suffering from a loss of sight and epilepsy.
The over 60’s are more at risk from brain tumors and so would benefit from annual check-ups, so a regular sight test becomes even more necessary.
Multiple Sclerosis and Overactive Thyroid Problems
Another degenerative neurological disease that can also manifest itself in the eye in the early stages is multiple sclerosis. As with high cholesterol, MS can cause the optic nerve to enlarge and change appearance – something that an optometrist would be able to pick up during a routine eye exam.
Thyroid problems are not particularly uncommon. A patient’s cornea can bulge in an abnormal manner if there is a problem with an overactive thyroid and again, this is something that a trained eye specialist would spot very quickly.
An eye test is inexpensive, quick, and easy to arrange. Given the health benefits that could come from arranging one, let alone the early diagnosis of life-threatening and limiting conditions that could be avoided by early analysis, it makes sense to make a regular eye test a part of one’s regular health care MOT check-up.