Several systemic conditions can be diagnosed by a general eye care examination of the back of your eye. In this blog, Dr. Madaris shares with you one example of a disease that can be diagnosed through annual eye exams and how annual exams can indicate things about your overall health.
When your pupils are dilated during your general eye care examination, it allows the doctor to view your retina or the back of the eye. One finding your doctor may discover in the retina can be a pigmented lesion called congenital hypertrophy of the retinal pigment epithelium, or CHRPE. Finding a singular lesion in the retina is typically a benign finding and would just be monitored annually. However, if 4 or more of these particular lesions are noted, it can be correlated with a diagnosis of familial adenomatous polyposis of the colon. Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) is an autosomal dominant condition characterized by the development of polyps in the rectum and colon. These polyps are initially benign, however almost all patients will eventually develop colorectal cancer if left untreated. The grouping of lesions on your eye can sometimes be called “bear tracks” because that is what they look like, like a bear walked across the back of your eye. Therefore, if your eye doctor notices 4 or more of these pigmented lesions in your retina, it would be recommended that you get a colonoscopy to screen for polyps as a precaution.
This is just another reminder of why general eye care exams are so important, even if you do not notice any changes in your vision, an early diagnosis of certain conditions can be lifesaving. To schedule your annual general eye care exam with Dr. Madaris, contact us today.