Many people go to their dermatologists or dentists regularly and rush to a doctor when they feel pain or unusual symptoms in their bodies. However, the same thought does not always pop into their minds when visiting an eye doctor. Unless you are out of contact lenses or need a new prescription for eyeglasses, you may dismiss your worrisome eye symptoms or believe you can delay your exam. While you may be able to do so at times, a prolonged delay may impair your vision (and even your overall health).
To help you decide when you should get an eye exam, here is a list of signs that may appear minor but should not be ignored.
Changes In Vision
If you regularly have to squint to read a menu or instructions on your phone or frequently experience cloudiness or blurriness, it’s time to book an eye exam. Many times, an updated lens prescription is all that is required, but it can be something serious sometimes.
It’s normal for an individual’s visual acuity (how clearly they can see) to deteriorate with age. Most individuals will require prescription glasses and progressive lenses to cure presbyopia, an ailment that makes it hard to focus on close-up objects, beginning in their 40s.
Aside from the need for new glasses, blurred vision may indicate more severe eye conditions such as cataracts or glaucoma. In any case, it’s critical to consult with an eye doctor and get a comprehensive eye exam to determine the reason for your vision change and address it.
Headaches are common in life, as physical and emotional stress can cause headaches. Headaches can range from a dull throb in or around the temples to a throbbing pain around the eyes or brows.
Persistent headaches may indicate eyestrain, glaucoma, or infection. Headaches can also indicate binocular vision issues, such as convergence insufficiency or amblyopia.
Your Eyes Feel Dry Or Gritty
You may suffer from dry eye symptoms if your eyes feel dry, gritty, or itchy.
Women are more likely to experience dry eye symptoms, and certain medicines and medical problems can also cause dry eye symptoms.
Artificial tears may provide temporary relief. However, if your dry eye symptoms last more than one or two days, you should schedule an appointment with an optometrist in Miami. They will perform a complete eye exam to determine what is causing the dry eyes and prescribe a comprehensive treatment plan that addresses the underlying issue rather than just the symptoms.
Digital Screens Cause Eye Strain
Computer vision syndrome is becoming more prevalent. Many of us devote countless hours at work looking straight at a computer screen, only to come home and devote even more hours to our mobiles, televisions, and laptops.
Excessive screen time can lead to the following:
Adults who suffer from eye strain.
Reduced blink rate, resulting in dry eye symptoms.
Children’s myopia progression is accelerated.
If your symptoms persist, your eye doctor can assess the situation and recommend solutions.
Your Eyes Are Often Pink Or Red
If you always have red eyes after staying up late at night, the source of your symptoms is pretty apparent. Otherwise, consistently red eyes are typically a sign of something wrong with your eye health. An excellent general rule is to get your eyes checked by an eye care professional if any redness persists for more than 24 hours.
Red eyes can be caused by dry eyes or inflammatory conditions such as iritis. Conjunctivitis (pink eye) is another common cause.
Pink eye is an infection or inflammation of the conjunctiva that lines your eyelids and covers the white area of your eyeball. It can be caused by allergies, bacteria, viruses, or irritation caused by a foreign object. Itchy eyes, grittiness, tearing, and discharge are all symptoms that should send you to an ophthalmologist and get red eye treatment in Hialeah right away.
You See Floaters Or Strange Light Flashes
It’s not uncommon to notice small dark spots or wiggly strands every now and then, especially if they appear after looking directly at something bright. However, if you suddenly begin seeing many floaters or light flashes follow them, you must see your eye doctor immediately.
The same is true if you begin to have difficulty seeing out of the sides of your eyes (aka loss of peripheral vision). These could be symptoms of a retinal detachment, a condition in which the retina is raised or pulled away from the rear wall of the eye. If left untreated, it can end up causing permanent loss of vision, macular degeneration, or even blindness within a few days, so don’t ignore it.
Double vision could indicate an eye or neural problem. The key to understanding is observing what happens when you close one eye. There’s a reason your eye doctor handed you an eye patch or cover for previous appointments.
If you have double vision when only one eye is open, you have an eye problem. If you have double vision with both eyes open, it could be a neural issue.
In either case, a trip to the eye doctor is an excellent place to start.
It Has Been An Eternity Since Your Last Eye Exam
If you can’t remember the last time you had an eye exam, it means it’s been a while. Many illnesses like glaucoma have no symptoms initially and may go unnoticed, worsening over time. Screening can help you get treated faster and avoid a worst-case scenario.
So, when should you get an eye exam?
The American Optometric Association (AOA) categorizes eye exams based on age. Infants should be tested between the ages of 6 and 12 months, children ranging in age from three to five, and adults between the ages of six and 18 must be examined every year if they are not experiencing any eye-related symptoms. You should have your eyes checked at least once every two years after reaching the age of 18 and until the age of 64. It is recommended that you have your eyes checked every year after the age of 65.
If you have risk factors, like a family history of eye disease or other health problems like diabetes, you are at higher risk of eye diseases and should see an eye doctor every year, regardless of your age.
Remember that an eye exam is beneficial to more than just your eyes. By looking at your eyes, your eye specialist can detect a wide range of illnesses, such as cancer and diabetes. Don’t put off getting an eye exam until you’ve experienced any of these eight symptoms.