Heart Health and Eye Disease | Iowa Eye Specialists

September 29, 2020

The Heart and the Eye

Did you know your eyes can say a lot about the health of your heart? Eye exams are critical for your ocular health but can also serve as an early detection point for certain underlying health problems including heart problems. Every year on September 29th the world celebrates World Heart Day. World Heart Day is celebrated around the globe to bring awareness and educate people that heart disease and strokes are the world’s leading cause of death. By taking 17.9 million lives each year making it the world’s number one killer. What better time than World Heart Day to remind us of tips to live a heart- healthy living lifestyle.

Importance of a Comprehensive Eye Exam

An annual comprehensive eye exam to ensure vision health is a great start to living a heart-healthy lifestyle. How often you are seen for a comprehensive eye exam can depend on your age and family history, but typically you would be seen yearly, just like a physical. During your eye exam many times your pupils are dilated to fully examine the back of your eye. Eye pressures, topography of the eye, retina and optic nerve are also examined. In fact, when an eye doctor performs an exam, they could even detect early signs of eye conditions diabetes, glaucoma, macular degeneration, or health conditions such as Graves’ disease, autoimmune disorders, cancer, and tumors. This information just reinforces that comprehensive eye exams not only check your vision health but can detect heart disease and stroke risk before symptoms even occur. Start living heart-healthy by contacting your local eye doctor today!

Lifestyle Steps to Living Heart -Healthy

By taking charge and choosing the right steps you can live a heart- healthy lifestyle and lower your risks of heart disease. Below are some of the many things you can do to reduce your chances-

  • Maintain a healthy diet- cut back on sugary drinks, make sure you are getting enough fruits and vegetables in your diet, plenty of water
  • Control your blood pressure- high blood pressure makes you at high risk for heart disease
  • Don’t smoke- cigarette smoking causes increased blood pressure and puts you at higher risk for heart attack and stroke
  • Exercise- exercising has many benefits which strengthens your heart
  • Sleep- most adults need 7-9 hours, if you don’t get enough sleep the risk of high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes increases

For more information on ways to reduce your changes of heart disease, visit Medlineplus here.