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What Your Vision Says About Your Health

Woman taking an eye exam

Your eyes can reveal a lot about your general health. Besides eye diseases that can severely harm your vision, a general eye exam may show if you have high blood pressure, diabetes or even cancer. Here are some of the health issues your eyes can reveal.


If your blood glucose level is too high, it can cause the blood vessels in your eye to swell and break, damaging your retina. This condition, called diabetic retinopathy, is one of Canada’s leading causes of blindness. You may not notice symptoms until the disease is advanced, but your eye doctor may see the signs early, even before you’re diagnosed with diabetes.


Your eyes are one of the first places in your body to show signs of certain cancers. Tumours cause your optic nerves to swell and your eyes to change shape, and a routine eye exam can reveal the early stages of brain or skin cancer. Bloody retinas can mean you have leukemia.

High blood pressure

Damaged blood vessels inside your eye can indicate high blood pressure, which increases your risk of a heart attack or stroke. High blood pressure can also lead to blurry vision and vision loss.

High cholesterol

A white, grey, or blue ring around your iris can signify high cholesterol and triglycerides, a risk factor for heart disease and stroke. The rings are also a common sign of aging, but if you have them and you’re under 60, you should get your cholesterol checked with a blood test.


Your eye doctor may see microscopic blood clots in the back of your eye or damaged vessels due to high blood pressure. These are signs that you’re at increased risk for a stroke, and you should see your doctor to work on a prevention strategy.

Multiple sclerosis

Swollen optic nerves and blurry vision can be early indications of multiple sclerosis (MS), a degenerative disease that affects your nervous system. Spotting these symptoms before they become advanced can mean a critical early diagnosis and treatment.

Thyroid disease

Red and itchy eyes can indicate hyperthyroidism and Grave’s disease. If left unchecked, this condition can cause your ocular muscles to swell and your eyes to bulge.


Arthritis is linked to various eye conditions, the most common being dry eyes. People with inflammatory arthritis can also experience redness, eye pain, blurred vision, light sensitivity, glaucoma, and cataracts.

Eye doctors in Edmonton

At Optometrists’ Clinic Inc., we provide general, pediatric, and diabetic eye exams at our Edmonton eye clinic. Our opticians can also fit you with eyeglasses with a wide range of fashionable frames. To book an exam with an optometrist in Edmonton, contact us today.



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