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Wednesday, June 19, 2013
There is more to eye health care than selecting eyeglasses and being fitted with contact lenses. Comprehensive eye examinations, including pupil dilation, can detect eye diseases such as glaucoma and ocular complications from systemic conditions, such as diabetes, high cholesterol, and hypertension (high blood pressure).
Early detection can prevent or delay the onset of eye diseases, before they cause permanent vision loss. For example, vision loss is preventable in over 95% of situations with early detection and treatment in individuals who develop eye disease in association with diabetes.
Eye complications from systemic diseases can cause multiple vision problems if they are not detected and treated. Often individuals with eye disease are unaware that problems exist because their vision is not affected. The best way to detect sight-threatening complications is through a dilated pupil. Delaying diagnosis and treatment can lead to permanent vision loss.
Any individual with systemic conditions should have a dilated eye examination once per year, or more frequently, to maintain proper eye health. Regular visits to a primary care physician to ensure overall good systemic health is important as well. Scheduling and attending these appointments is just a small sacrifice of time and effort to ensure optimal vision for a lifetime.
This content was originally written by Dr. Cynthia Heard and appeared in Great Visions, Summer Quarter 2003 newsletter, The Ohio State University Optometry Services. It has been published on NetWellness with permission.
Last Reviewed: Sep 02, 2010
Aaron Zimmerman, OD, MS
Clinical Associate Professor of Optometry
College of Optometry
The Ohio State University