February is Heart Awareness Month! Well, what does that have to do with your eyes??
As much as we like to sometimes think that they aren’t, your eyes are connected to your body. The same blood that flows from your heart to your brain also reaches into your eyeballs. This is when those *gasp* dilating drops come in handy. When your pupils are dilated we can look in the back and see blood vessels. It is the only place in your WHOLE ENTIRE BODY where we can see blood vessels without having to cut you open. This means we can see diseases like: diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure), anemia or even leukemia. Sometimes we see signs of these diseases even before you are diagnosed with them.
A stroke can also affect your eyes. Vision begins at the optic nerve that ends in our eye but is processed at the very back portion of our brain! This means virtually any type of stroke will leave you with some kind of visual deficit. Knowing where this deficit is, and learning ways to adapt to it is very important. Strokes have also been known to affect balance which may be able to be corrected through the use of prism/lenses.
So, this February, take care of your heart and your eyes!