Take Care of Your Eyes and Heart
It is often said that the eyes are the windows of the soul. But did you know they also may offer a view into your heart health? With a comprehensive eye exam, your ophthalmologist may see evidence of both eye and heart disease. In fact, a recent study found that people with heart disease tend to have retinas with evidence of eye stroke. Ophthalmologists can spot these signs and help diagnose cardiovascular disease earlier than ever. Early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent heart attack and stroke.
What Hurts One Can Hurt the Other
Problems that damage blood vessels in the eye can also block blood vessels in the heart. High cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes
are risk factors for heart disease. They can also cause problems like:
Research shows a possible link between having heart disease and having a greater risk of vision loss from AMD. Other studies have shown that people who have retinal vein or artery occlusion may also be more likely to have a stroke.
Show your eyes and heart some love. Take the following steps to keep your heart and eyes healthy.
Stop Smoking Cigarettes
Smokers are at greater risk for cardiovascular disease, stroke, and AMD.
Lose Some Weight
Excess weight could increase your risk for AMD, as well as contribute to heart disease. Exercise can reduce your risk.
Eat Great Foods for Heart and Eye Health
The same foods that are good for your heart can help you preserve your vision. Leafy greens (spinach, kale and collards) and cold water fish, such as salmon, tuna and sardines, are good for healthy eyes and better heart health.
Know Your Family’s Health History
Does your mother have heart disease? Did your grandfather had diabetes? Knowing these kinds of things can help you make the right choices to keep your heart and eyes healthy. Knowing your family's health history can save your sight.
Keep Your Doctor Appointments
Make sure to have regular exams with your ophthalmologist and your primary care doctor.