Everyone should get an annual eye exam to ensure that their eyes are in good health. Unfortunately, many people tend to be lax in this area and don’t put as much emphasis on their eyes as they do on other aspects of their health. However, while some smaller eye problems can simply be managed with self-care at home, others are not quite as easy to deal with without a professional. In general, there are six signs that you need to visit the eye doctor.
1- Sudden Vision Loss
If you have suddenly noticed a loss of vision in one or both eyes, it’s a sure sign that you need to see an eye doctor immediately. A sudden vision loss can indicate that you might have had a stroke or are experiencing some other type of serious medical condition. You should always take this type of sign seriously and do the same if you begin to notice blurred vision, double vision, darkening in any part of your vision or any blind spots within your sight. These symptoms may be due to glaucoma or retinal detachment, both of which are medical emergencies that can compromise your vision and must be addressed immediately.
2- Pain in the Eyes
Pain in the eyes is not normal. If you have a persistent ache or pain in one or both eyes, you should never ignore it. You should schedule an appointment with your eye doctor and get an eye exam sooner rather than later. You should never ignore eye pain as the solution can be something as simple as needing special prescription eye drops for dry eye. On the more serious side, eye pain can signify that you have a medical condition such as glaucoma or even eye cancer, or an injury like a scratched cornea.
3- Bright Flashes or Floaters
Floaters are extremely common and many people have them. They appear as small dark shapes in your vision and are usually not noticeable or bothersome unless you are looking at a stark white or bright-colored surface. However, if you have an increase in floaters, you might have a problem and they can interfere with your sight. Bright flashes within your vision can also be a sign of something serious and requires a quick visit to your eye doctor. In the worst-case scenario, these symptoms can mean you have a detached retina, which can lead to blindness. Schedule an appointment with your ophthalmologist immediately if you have these signs.
4- Sensitivity to Light
There are always times when you may experience sensitivity to light, such as if you have a headache. However, if this is a persistent problem and you have constant issues with glare, you need to speak to an eye doctor as it can be a sign of cataracts. Other symptoms of this eye problem include clouded vision, double vision, blurriness, night blindness and a sensation of halos around lights. A common sensitivity to light can even mean you have ocular migraines, which can easily be treated.
5- Constant Headaches
Constant headaches might mean you have too much eye strain. If you use a computer for work for long hours, this can become a problem. Visit your eye doctor for an examination. You can do your part to reduce your risk of headaches by dimming the light on your devices and take short breaks every hour you are working to give your eyes a rest. Sometimes, however, headaches may signify other issues like astigmatism or even glaucoma.
6- Eye Infection
Eye infections are relatively common and can get worse the longer you wait to see a doctor. If you suspect you might have an infection like pink eye, also known as conjunctivitis, you should schedule an appointment with your eye doctor. Signs of infection include redness, pain, discharge, blurry vision, sensitivity to light and the sensation of something being in your eye. A simple checkup and prescription for antibiotic eye drops can be the solution.
These six signs should always be taken seriously. Remember that your eyes are very precious, and you only have a pair of them. Visit your eye doctor for annual checkups, but always see the doctor immediately if you experience any of these issues.