What Can an Eye Tests Detect About Your Health? | Tesco Opticians Blog


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What Can Eye Tests Detect About Your Health?

Posted On 14 September 2016

Did you know that your routine Tesco eye test also includes checks for signs of health conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol?

What can opticians tell from your eyes?

By looking closely at your eyes, optometrists can tell a lot more about your health than you may be aware of!

When you have an eye test at Tesco Opticians it will be conducted by qualified optometrists who do more than just a test to check whether you need glasses or contact lenses, or if your sight has deteriorated; they will also thoroughly examine your eye and the blood vessels in and around it that can reveal so much about your general health. 

Although the vast majority of eye tests are routine as usual, it is extremely important to attend a free eye test at Tesco Opticians regularly, as they are an important part of your general health check. 

So what can an eye test reveal about your health?

High Blood Pressure/Hypertension 

High blood pressure eye test

By looking at the back of your eyes the optometrist is able to see lots of blood vessels. In fact, your eyes are the only place in your body where they can be seen! The optometrist will examine these blood vessels for irregularities and signs and symptoms of health conditions.

Irregular blood vessels in the retina with kinks or bends can be caused by the force of the movement of blood and can be a sign of high blood pressure and/or hypertension.

This week is Blood Pressure UK’s ‘Know Your Numbers Week’. Between the 12th and 18th September 2016 you can get your blood pressure checked by a professional for free at your local Pressure Station. Find your local pressure station here.

If you’re a bit late reading this blog, or don’t have time to visit a Pressure Station this week then you can still book a free eye test at your local Tesco Opticians at any time.


Can an optician detect diabetes?

Although diabetes is not directly an eye condition, the signs of poor diabetic management can be seen at the back of the eyes. If high blood-glucose levels are endured over a period of time it can weaken or damage blood vessels and this can be seen by the optometrist when they look at the back of your eye. Dramatic change in prescription can also be a symptom of diabetes.   


The optometrist will use several different tests to detect Glaucoma. These tests include checking for missing areas of vision, examining the front outer edge of the eye, checking the thickness of your cornea and using an instrument called a tonometer to measure the pressure inside your eye. If the results raise suspicion of glaucoma the optometrist will refer you to your GP.

Glaucoma is caused by a build up of pressure in the eye, which, if left untreated, can cause damage to vision. The condition is often completely symptomless during the early stages, so a routine eye test can help to pick up the condition that you may otherwise have been unaware of.

High cholesterol

High Cholestrol eye test

If your optician recommends that you have your cholesterol checked then it may be because they have noticed a subtle white ring around your cornea. This white ring can sometimes be a sign of high cholesterol, so if your optometrist spots it they will ask you to have it checked with a blood test by your GP. 

Autoimmune Disease

Symptoms of an autoimmune disease can affect all different parts of the body, and the eye is just one area that may be affected. In some instances very dry or inflamed, irritated or swollen eyes can be caused by an autoimmune response.

A few of the autoimmune diseases that can display symptoms that may be picked up during a routine eye test include Lupus, Rheumatoid arthiritis, Sjogren’s disease and Grave’s disease.


Can opticians detect brain tumours?

Although it is very rare for an optometrist to come across symptoms of something as serious as eye, brain or neck cancer, it does still happen from time to time and can be a life-saving discovery!

Tumours can cause a variety of unusual symptoms including swelling of the optic nerve, an irregularly shaped pupil or pressure behind the eyes. If the optometrist notices anything unusual during your eye test then they will refer you to have it checked out further, just to be on the safe side.

So can an eye test detect a brain tumour? Yes, it is possible.

At Tesco Opticians we’re proud to look after not just our customer’s sight, but their health too. Here are just a few of our customer’s recent experiences where we’ve picked up more than just deteriorating eye sight during their routine eye test.

Due an eye test? Book your free eye test appointment online to look after your health as well as your eyes.



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