The “Kerryatrics” 10-Point Plan

I bet you thought that optometrists only prescribe glasses and contact lenses. There is so much more to a visit with an Optometrist, and it could be a life-changer.

The eye, when examined by the optometrist, is a biomarker for over 300 systemic diseases and is often the first place diabetes, hypertension, and autoimmune disease appear.

Being the only primary care professional that can actually see blood vessels noninvasively, the OD is on the forefront of saving lives and preventing disease. In fact, even the early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s through an eye examination by the optometrist is within grasp.

During an eye exam a few years ago, I discovered I had microaneurysms in my eyes. Microaneurysms are small round outpouches protruding from the eye’s blood vessels. They can be a sign of serious metabolic problems. 

Upon learning this, I changed my lifestyle over time by eating better and exercising often, and I was able to reduce the number of microaneurysms in my eyes. 

This personal journey turned into a 10-point plan which I share with my patients. Not soon after, I set out on a journey; documenting my conversations with medical experts, PhD’s, researchers, journalists, and exploring how America became so sick. This life-changing documentary is called, “Open Your Eyes”. It delivers the resounding message that the eye holds the secrets to our hidden health.

The experts in the film all conclusively convey the emerging importance of how eye doctors have a major impact on prevention and why they should stand at the forefront of Health & Wellness.

In the documentary, I traveled to Costa Rica to speak with centenarians, people aged 100 years or older, who had relatively good health to see what they were doing in their normal daily lives to preserve their health and vision. 

There, I also met with Javier Prada Lopez, OD, to take a look at the rise of myopia in Costa Rican children. Dr. Lopez recently conducted a study that showed that 40 percent of Costa Rican children in urban areas have myopia, while only 10 percent of children in rural areas do.

The root cause of many diseases is in our lifestyles. The good news is many diseases are reversible. Considering that the eyes are the greatest observatory into our health,  your optometrist should be at the forefront of your efforts to optimize your own primary care.