Eyes are the window to one’s soul, as the saying goes, but did you know they also reveal a lot about a person’s health? According to an August 2012 report from The Wall Street Journal (The WSJ), eyes can provide clues to health issues ranging from rheumatoid arthritis and lupus to diabetes and brain tumors.
The reason our eyes reveal so much about our health, the WSJ states, has to do with our bodies’ interconnected systems. The article states “changes in the eye can reflect those in the vascular, nervous and immune system, among others. And because the eyes are see-through in a way other organs aren’t, they offer a unique glimpse into the body.”
For this reason, and for the sake of your eyes, routine eye exams are essential, as eye doctors can sometimes spot a potential medical condition before other doctors can, often leading to an earlier diagnosis and treatment. For example, tiny blood clots in the retina can be an indicator of a risk for stroke, while thickened blood-vessel walls paired with narrowing of the vessels are a sign of high blood pressure.
Because the eyes can offer clues for an array of other health problems, scientists and researchers have been working diligently to create specialized equipment that allows doctors to have a better look at the eyes and what insight they can provide on these health problems. Optos has created the optomap ultra-widefield technology that provides a comprehensive screening of the retina with a 200-degree view. This 200-degree view allows doctors to see more of the periphery, which “could mean earlier or more accurate diagnosis of various diseases and may also be coupled with intervention tools to improve treatment.”
Extensive research is also a crucial step in learning what other medical conditions can be detected through the eyes. Optos’ head of clinical development, Anne Marie Cairns, shared with The WSJ of the company’s support of a study that is researching to see how retinal imaging might be used to diagnose heart disease.
Optos strives to be a leading provider of retinal imaging devices and solutions for eyecare professionals to improve patient care. Since 1992, we have been developing patient-friendly retinal imaging products and since then, have installed more than 4,500 devices worldwide. Eyecare professionals interested in learning more about our products may visit our website for additional information.