Three Serious Medical Conditions Your Optometrist May Be Able To Predict

The American Optometric Association recommends adults from 18-60 get an eye exam every two years unless recommended otherwise and then annually thereafter. It's been said the eyes are the window to the soul, but they can also give a glimpse to your overall health. Annual or biannual eye exams are important not only for your eye health, but also to check for potential systemic illnesses as well. Here are three different conditions that may be discovered by a regular eye exam with your optometrist.

Colon Polyps

With the aid of a retinascope, the optometrist can focus a beam of light at the retina. If the retina has little freckles on it, this can be indicative of colon polyps. A freckle way in the back of the retina is called CHRPE, which is short for Congenital Hypertrophy of the Retinal Pigment Epithelium. A polyp is a collection of cells on the intestinal wall that forms a small lump. While most are harmless, some can eventually become cancerous, which can be fatal if not caught in the early stages. Scientists think that both the freckled retina and incidence of colon polyps are caused by the same gene mutation.


This is a type of painful arthritis that most commonly affects the spine, although it can also affect the arms and legs as well. It is most common in young men in their twenties. Additionally, it can affect the digestive system, skin, and the eyes. If you have sudden eye pain and redness, decreased vision, or light sensitivity, you may have a condition known as uveitis. This is an inflammation of the middle area of the eye, including the iris. A diagnosis of uveitis, particularly in young adults and in conjunction with back or joint pain, may be indicative of spondyloarthritis.


An eye exam can sometimes be the very first clue a patient may have the beginning stages of diabetes. If an optometrist looks into the eyes and sees fluid or blood weeping from the tiny blood vessels in the eye, there is a good chance that patient has diabetes. This condition is called diabetic retinopathy, and the damage comes from the buildup of sugar in the blood, which destroys capillaries and reduces blood flow to the arteries. This can lead to eventual blindness if the blood sugar levels are not brought under control.

So as you can see, even if you are one of the lucky ones who don't need glasses or have any eye issues, it is still important to visit your optometrist regularly. For more information, contact companies like Spectacle Shoppe, Inc.