Trip to the eye doctor can prevent early death

Trip to the eye doctor can prevent early death
Doctors say a simple vision screening can prevent early death in otherwise healthy people.

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – You may be able to look at the future of your health, one eye-doctor appointment at a time.

Doctors say a simple vision screening can prevent early death in otherwise healthy people.

Nerve endings and blood vessels in the eyes can reveal future or ongoing serious health problems.

Some doctors say a vision test can detect diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, autoimmune disorders, thyroid disease, tumors and even cancer. Finding these health problems early enough could stop fatal aneurysms and strokes.

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Doctors also say they can detect MS in women because MS affects nerve endings. At times, they can diagnose this years before it shows up in an MRI.

So how often should you get your eyes checked?

It's recommended adults should shoot for every two years, but if you've had issues before, aim for once a year.

For children, the guidelines are different.

An ophthalmologist, pediatrician or family doctor should examine a newborn's eyes shortly after birth and perform what's called a red reflex test. This is a test to determine if the eyes are normal. If the baby is premature or high-risk additional tests need to be performed.

A second eye test needs to be done when a child is six months old to one year of age.

Between three and three-and-a-half, a child's vision and eye alignment needs to be checked, and

before a child begins school their eyes need to be screened for visual acuity and alignment.

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