A recent patient case revealed the importance of a routine eye exam.
Blurry Vision in Eyes – Case Study
A 58 year old female patient first noticed blurry vision in the right eye about two weeks prior to her exam. Although the blurry vision was very slight, our patient was bothered by the change in vision and noticed that her old glasses were not helping. Our patient’s last eye exam was about 2-3 years ago, and her last physical check up with the internist was at least 3-4 years ago. She was unaware of any personal medical conditions, was not taking any medications, and felt generally healthy. She was a former smoker, but had stopped smoking 5 years ago.
A refraction (determining the prescription for glasses) by the doctor revealed a very small distance Rx that helped our patient to read the 20/20 line on the eye chart. The doctor then evaluated the health of our patient’s eyes. The patient’s eye pressures and front surface of the eye were all normal. A look into the back of the eye, however, revealed hemorrhaging (bleeding) in both eyes. It was recommended that our patient have her eyes dilated in order to provide the doctor with a better view. She was then sent for further blood workup with an internist.
20/20 Vision does not Guarantee Eye Health
Upon further investigation, it was determined that the patient’s blood sugar level was very elevated which was causing the blood vessels to leak. Despite a visual acuity of 20/20 in each eye, our patient’s eyes were not healthy.
The eyes are the only organ in the body where blood vessels can be viewed without cutting into the skin. The eyes are often called “the window to the soul”. I consider the eyes to be the window to our overall health. This case should remind us that our routine eye examination is vital to our health. As optometrists, we are assessing more than the prescription for glasses. Whether you need glasses to see or not, an annual eye exam is as important as your annual physical.
Dr. Meghan Schiffer