Life-saving eye exams: Five ways an eye exam could save your life

November 02, 2022

woman holding magnifying glass Did you know that having regular eye exams could save your life? The eyes are said to be the windows to the soul, but they also can be windows into our overall health. Which is why routine eye exams are important for more than just your vision. They can help spot and even prevent serious medical conditions. Below are just a few ways they do this, and may even save your life.

Here are tips from the experts at Superior Vision, administrators of the State of Texas VisionSM plan.


An aneurysm is a bulge or ballooning in an artery’s wall. The causes are often unknown. Most are benign, but if they rupture they can be life-threating. During your exam, your provider can detect pressure in the brain, including swelling of the optic nerve or bleeding into the retina. This could be a sign of an aneurysm.

Brain tumor

Your provider can check for increased pressure in the brain and swelling of the optic nerve during your routine eye exam. Symptoms such as changes in vision, blurred or double vision, loss of side vision and abnormal eye movements may be signs of a brain tumor.


Eye care providers can sometimes detect blood vessel blockages in the back of the eye. In the retina, these can cause sudden blind spots, which may indicate an increased risk for stroke. Especially in seniors, a regular vision exam can help prevent a stroke.

Cardiovascular disease

Individuals with high cholesterol may be at higher risk for heart disease or stroke. During your exam, an eye care provider can spot little lumps of cholesterol running through the blood vessels. These lumps can block the blood vessel and cause moments of vision loss.

Cancers of blood, tissue or skin

Several forms of cancer can also be found during a routine eye exam. Some skin cancers affect the eyelids and outer areas of the eye. Leukemia and lymphoma can affect the eye’s interior. Additionally, tumors in the breast and other areas can spread to ocular structures.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends that all individuals have a comprehensive eye examination by age 40. Individuals with risk factors such as diabetes, high blood pressure or a family history of eye disease should not delay. If your eye exam reveals a potential health problem, your eye care provider will recommend further testing by a specialist or your primary care provider.

If you’re enrolled in the State of Texas Vision insurance, you pay just $15 for an annual eye exam. If you don’t have vision insurance, your HealthSelectSM plan covers an annual eye exam, and you don’t need a referral to see an optometrist or ophthalmologist. 

Schedule an appointment today. It could save your life!