Do This Before You Get An Eye Exam

Don’t Overlook This Important Prerequisite to Living the Visual Lifestyle

How long has it been since you had a complete physical?  If you had one recently, how did you do?  I know, I know.  For some people the appeal of having a physical ranks right up there with having a tax audit.  But if you’re going to live a full visual lifestyle, body health is where you need to start.

Stethoscope

If you think you don’t need a physical because you believe you’re healthy, you should seriously reconsider.  At the very least, you’ll be given a clean bill of health and some added peace of mind.  More importantly, if any health issues exist your health care professional can explore lifestyle changes and treatments with you.  So get a physical, even if you’re afraid of what you might discover about your health.  Check out this post for similar ideas about skipping eye care because you believe you see well.

Why Does My Vision Get Blurry and Then Clear Up Again?

Have you ever had temporary blurry vision?  I’m talking about the kind of blurry vision that comes and goes.  The kind that surprises you.  The kind that makes you give up reading or pull over to the side of the road while it passes.  I have a lot of patients that come to see me with these types of problems, and many of them are shocked when I tell them their blurry vision is not due to their eyes.

If the Eyes Are Windows to the Soul, They’re Also Windows to the Body

Our eye health and visual health is closely tied to our overall health.  Many people suffering from temporary blurry vision are experiencing signs of body diseases such as diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure), and migraines.  There are many other body ailments that can cause vision problems, and some of them are quite serious.  Worse, the medications used to treat these illnesses can also cause a host of visual symptoms.

So, when it comes to living a full visual lifestyle, it pays to be healthy.  Not to mention the many other ways being healthy enhances your overall lifestyle.

For example, here are some eye diseases and conditions that are directly or indirectly linked to overall body health:

  • Macular degeneration
  • Glaucoma
  • Cataracts
  • Dry eyes
  • Diabetic retinopathy
  • Light sensitivity
  • Night blindness

And, here are some body diseases and conditions that can have a direct effect on the eyes and vision:

  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Thyroid conditions
  • Migraines
  • Allergies and asthma
  • Cancer

Finally, here are some general medications with known eye and vision side effects:

  • Cancer medications
  • Steroids
  • Acne medications
  • Antihistamines
  • Appetite suppressants
  • Thyroid medication
  • Antibiotics
  • Antidepressants

The lists above are by no means complete.  In fact, they barely scratch the surface.

Many of my patients are surprised when I tell them how much their overall body health and medications can affect their eye health and vision.  There is no question: maintaining optimal body health is an essential first step in maintaining eye health and living a full visual lifestyle.  Now, about that physical…

Question: When was your last physical?  If it’s been a long time, what’s keeping you?

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4 thoughts on “Do This Before You Get An Eye Exam

  1. I had to get glasses a few years ago because the doctor discovered that my retinas have holes in them. It explains why my vision is blurry when I try and see something that is farther away. When I get really tired though, everything gets blurry by default. I get the temporary blurry vision all the time when I am trying to read something up close. That is always annoying especially when I have to get on the road and drive after reading something.

    • I’m proud of you for seeking care. I’m sorry to hear about your retinas, I know that can be disappointing news. But I’m glad you are getting help and taking care of yourself. Good for you…keep it up! 🙂

    • Thanks for asking – nyctalopia means difficulty seeing at night, so you are right. But she should have her eyes examined because the reason for her vision problems could be anything from mild nearsightedness, early cataracts, or the beginning stages of a more serious eye disease. Even body health issues or vitamin deficiencies can contribute to nyctalopia. There’s no way for me to know for sure, so she should get her eyes examined by an eye doctor she trusts in order to figure out the problem and how to solve it. Thank you very much for your question, and I hope your mother gets her vision problem solved!