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Your Eyes: The Window to Your Heart

January 17, 2023 Posted by Dr. Shah

Signs of Early Heart Disease

Can an eye exam detect heart problems? An eye exam by an optometrist or ophthalmologist may not specifically detect heart issues. However, during the exam, the eye doctor may notice signs of certain eye conditions that may indicate signs of early heart disease or underlying heart issues, such as:

  • Hypertensive retinopathy

    High blood pressure can damage blood vessels in the eyes, causing them to become swollen or narrowed. This can lead to vision problems and may indicate an underlying heart issue.
  • Diabetic retinopathy

    Diabetes can damage blood vessels in the eyes and cause them to leak, leading to vision problems. Diabetic retinopathy is a common complication of diabetes and may indicate an underlying heart issue.
  • Arteriosclerosis

    Hardening of the arteries (arteriosclerosis) can lead to blocked or narrowed blood vessels in the eyes, which can cause vision problems. This may indicate an underlying heart issue.

If the eye doctor notices any of these signs, they may refer the patient to a cardiologist for further testing and evaluation. However, it’s important to note that an eye exam alone is not a diagnostic tool for heart issues and should not be used as a substitute for regular check-ups with a primary care physician or cardiologist.

Schedule an appointment to have the windows to your heart checked today! We have offices in Huntington Beach, Irvine, Long Beach and Newport Beach.

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