Eye Exams May Help Detect Diseases



When someone gets their eyes checked, they don’t expect to walk away with any problems, especially in areas other than the eyes. Pam Rowan, owner of the Eye Shop, a downtown Clearwater eye care boutique, is informing her patients and the public that eye exams by highly qualified ophthalmologists and optometrists may be able to expose other diseases.


The Eye Shop team is dedicated to early, accurate detection and correction of vision and health problems.


Most people think that if they can see straight and clear, without any vision problems, they must be healthy. A recent article from the Wall Street Journal reveals the reasons why your eyes may act as an indicator of other


>>The body’s systems are interconnected; therefore, changes in the eye can reflect those in the vascular, nervous and immune system, among others.

>>The eyes are see-through in a way that other organs aren’t, and so offer a unique glimpse into the body. Blood vessels, nerves and tissue can all be viewed directly through the eye with specialized equipment.

>>With regular monitoring, eye doctors can be the first to spot certain medical conditions and can refer patients for further evaluation, potentially leading to earlier diagnosis and treatment.


“Everyone should have at least an annual eye exam, or more often – depending on their age – but people often push it aside or forget about it if their eyes feel fine and their vision remains the same,” Rowan commented.


An eye exam may detect the following if caught early:

–Stroke (clots in the tiny blood vessels of the retina can signal a risk);

–High blood pressure;

–Autoimmune diseases or infections in the rest of the body (eye symptoms may appear before other symptoms such as joint pain).


The Eye Shop’s knowledgeable staff offers eye exams to people of all ages. Recently, optometrist Dr. Claudia Chavez joined the eye center. Claudia Chavez, OD, graduated as a medical physician in 1988 in Guatemala. She pursued ophthalmology training in Tuebingen, Germany and subsequently completed her ophthalmology residency and pediatric ophthalmology training in Guatemala. After her return to the United States, she obtained her degree in Optometry at the New England College of Optometry. In 2004, she relocated to Tampa Bay and now provides optometric care to families and children who visit the Eye Shop.


To learn more about the Eye Shop or to schedule an appointment, visit eyeshopdowntown.com or call the Eye Shop at 727.755.EYES.