Heart Health and Your Eyes

Heart Health and Your Eyes

February is American Heart Month. Your eyes and your heart may have more in common than you think! A healthy diet and regular eye exams not only protect your eyes-they can help to keep your heart healthy too. In this blog we’ll discuss the relationship between healthy eyes and a healthy heart. 

Eyes are the window to the heart

During an eye exam, your doctor may notice problems with the blood vessels in your eyes. These problems are often caused by diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. Left untreated, these diseases not only cause problems with vision, but may also lead to life threatening emergencies, like a stroke or heart attack. Because the eyes are the only place where veins are visible without being covered by skin, they provide your doctor with unique and valuable information about your vascular health. 

Common Risk Factors

Many of the risk factors for disease related vision loss are associated with heart disease as well. These risk factors include:

  • Smoking
  • Hypertension
  • Diabetes
  • High Cholesterol

How you can protect yourself

There are a few steps you can take to keep your eyes and your heart healthy:

  • Have an annual eye exam-Seeing your eye doctor annually is the best way to monitor the health of your eyes. It also allows your doctor to monitor your eyes for changes.
  • Have an annual physical-Seeing your primary care doctor annually is equally as important. Your doctor will screen you for signs of heart disease and recommend treatment if necessary. Early treatment of health conditions may help to prevent serious complications.
  • Get plenty of exercise-Adults should get at least 30 minutes of exercise 5 times per week to reduce risk of cardiovascular problems. 
  • Eat a healthy diet-Eating well can reduce risk of heart disease and may help to reduce risk of some eye diseases. To learn more about diet and eye health, read our blog
  • Know your family history-Some risk factors may be hereditary. Sharing information about cardiovascular or ocular diseases that run in your family can help your doctor make a fast and accurate diagnosis. 

Caring for your eyes is about more than seeing well. Eye exams save lives. To schedule an exam, call or text (907) 328-2920. To learn more about your eyes, read more on our website: www.mountainvieweyes.com

Written By:

Gina Stafford COA, LDO, ABOC

Posted in: Alaska Ophthalmology, Eye Doctor in Alaska, Eye Health Guide

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