Disclosure: I am being compensated United Health Care to share my thoughts on this topic. Opinions are my own.

The eyes are the window to your soul and your health #Bridge2Health

We have heard the phrase, “the eyes are the window to your soul,” many times. However, we now know that are eyes are also a window to our overall health. Having an annual comprehensive eye exam, including dilation, can help recognize and diagnose chronic health conditions. I’ve talked before about how so many of us, including me in the past, would avoid seeing our primary care doctors regularly. Taking the time to get your eyes checked though can check your vision health but also identify other problems. The eyes are the only place on the body to offer a non-invasive view of all the blood vessels, this is how these other health conditions can be identified.

Over 117 million people have one or more chronic health condition. United Health Care monitored their members and found that 15% of members had diabetes, 15% had multiple sclerosis, and 12% had rheumatoid arthritis – all of these results were identified through an eye exam! Their study found that 57% of patients with chronic conditions who received a comprehensive eye exam became re-engaged with a primary care physician or specialist in managing their illness.

An eye exam can help eye doctors identify some of these chronic conditions such as high cholesterol, hypertension, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, and Graves’ disease.

Back in 2011 I shared with you about when I had to go to the eye doctor and he said an ocular migraine caused the problem I went to see him about. However, he had me follow up with my primary care physician to see if I had any vascular issues that could be causing these. Further along I followed up with another specialist because I had some field of vision loss and that doctor said that it could be an early sign of multiple sclerosis. I was amazed at how much my eyes were telling the doctors about my overall health and not just my eyes. It turns out I also had high blood pressure, which I now take medication for and modify my lifestyle to help. Hubby has had similar experiences with our optometrist during his annual eye exams where he wanted him to follow up with his primary doctor just to check things out. You may remember that the winner of the Microsoft Imagine Cup last year was Team EyeAnemia who developed an app to help diagnose anemia remotely even.

Early detection and treatment of chronic conditions is so important! The person suffers less usually with an early diagnosis. Many illnesses can be controlled and progression slowed with early diagnosis. We generally are able to save money on our health care expenses when things are caught early as well because we actually need less treatment often times. The UHC Bridge2Health Vision program also helps businesses understand the importance of providing vision care benefits to their employees for all the reasons I just listed and because it will actually save the company money in the long run as well.

Five Reasons Vision Bridge2Health stands apart

I hope that you found this information helpful to you in planning your overall health care. You all know that I have been working on my own health for a while now and it definitely can be hard, but I have found the more informed I am the easier it gets. This is why I have been sharing with you all about health issues so much as well. I want you all to be healthy and happy!

When was the last time you had a comprehensive eye exam? Did you realize it could help diagnose other health conditions? Does your health insurance provide for vision care?