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Optometrists and ophthalmologists can diagnose a variety of conditions by examining the eye e.g. diabetes, stroke risk, high blood pressure, leukemia and some brain tumors. Diabetes causes blood vessel damage that may be visible in the retina. When examining the eye blood vessels, diabetes will show up as hemorrhage spots; high blood pressure will cause the blood vessels to leak and they will have an irregular appearance. One optometrist had a patient come in complaining about severe headaches and blurry vision. The optometrist diagnosed him with extremely high blood pressure. The man was in kidney failure and was on dialysis within days. Leukemia causes Roth's spots in the eye which appear as small hemorrhages with a yellow dot in the centre. High cholesterol appears as visible plaques in the eye vessels. People suffering from gradual vision loss as they age should not self diagnose but should see a specialist as it may be a sign of glaucoma which can result in blindness if left untreated. Pituitary gland brain tumors may also be visible during an eye examination. Sickle cell anemia and thyroid disease may leave its mark on the eye as well.
Source: summary of medical news story as reported by Review Journal
About: Eye doctors can pick up a variety of diseases from an eye examination
Date: 16 January 2005
Source: Review Journal
Author: Joan Whitely
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