Most patients don’t realize just how important regular eye exams are in determining overall health. Eye exams can definitely tell someone what’s going on in their retina, but they can also let patients know what’s going on beyond the retina. Dilation provides an Optometrist with a clear view of the optic nerve and the intricate blood vessels that are so well connected with the rest of the body. Because everything is so intricately connected, a clear view of the blood vessels can communicate many different objectives; any type of abnormality here can be a clear indication that something similar might be happening elsewhere. Yearly eye exams are necessary beginning at age 40, but are even more critical once a patient reaches the age of 65 due to a drastic increase in risks for various diseases within and outside of the eye.
By looking at the blood vessels in the back of the eye, an Optometrist is able to detect diseases such as Diabetes, high cholesterol, Hypertension, Macular and Retinal Degeneration, and Glaucoma. Which is usually why most patients see an Optometrist or Ophthalmologist in the first place, because they begin to have blurry vision or have a family history with these types of diseases. We want to get these patients in to see their eye doctor regularly for obvious reasons, but it would be even better if we can start getting these patients in prior to having symptoms in order to preserve their vision as much as possible. But what a majority of patients don’t know is that having their eyes checked regularly can prevent even more serious diseases that would otherwise go undetected.
Having an unobstructed view of the nerves within the eye through dilation allows an Optometrist to identify diseases like Multiple Sclerosis, Arthritis, Stroke, Sickle Cell Disease, Thyroid Disorders, and even Cancer or possibly a tumor. Preserving a patient’s vision is one thing, but imagine being able to help them identify something life threatening like a tumor before it metastasizes and reaches the next stage. This type of prevention can save someone’s eyesight, but could save their life.
If you are looking for ways to help patients be compliant with dilation, Rollens sunshades are an essential tool to use. Give these to your patients to give them extra comfort and protection while their eyes are dilated.