8 Eye Symptoms You Should Never Ignore
You should take sudden vision changes very seriously. If you notice any eye problem symptoms, don’t hesitate to visit your ophthalmologist.
Most people often notice health issues requiring attention and hesitate or fail to see a health professional. Humans wait to see if things will clear up on their own and only act if it worsens. The situation is no different with eye problems. Most people only seek an appointment with an optometrist when they need new prescription eyewear. Yet according to eye health experts, maintaining healthy eyes should be a priority for everyone.
You need a comprehensive eye exam to help you prevent, identify, and treat eye problems. And because many eye diseases don’t show symptoms in the early stages, regular eye examinations are essential for early detection and treatment. Your eyes also speak volumes about your general health. For example, diabetic retinopathy strongly indicates a more advanced diabetes condition. So, the best way to prevent or identify vision issues is to get an early examination.
Critical Eye Symptoms
Eight eye signs that need urgent medical attention include:
1. Sudden Blurry Vision
Not all types of vision loss happen once. In most cases, you will notice something is amiss with one or both eyes. Yet, sudden blurriness demands urgent medical attention. Consult your doctor immediately if; you experience distortion in your vision and begin to see a straight line that appears wavy, or you begin to notice your vision is hazy, like you are looking through a piece of glass.
Some of these sudden conditions are a pointer to underlying severe health conditions. For example, suddenly losing vision in one eye may be an early symptom of a stroke. According to experts, losing sight means a blockage in the small arteries or veins that bring blood to and from the eye. Vision loss in one eye may also indicate blockages elsewhere, which can lead to a more significant stroke in the future.
2. Red Eye
Do you ever wear makeup? How often do you change your contact lenses? Your eyelashes contain bacteria. And, when your makeup brush comes into contact with the eyelashes, it collects bacteria, which can later transfer into your eyes. These bacteria can cause eye irritation or inflammation. Eye irritation causes the blood vessels to expand, causing the white part of your eyes to turn red.
If both of your eyes are red simultaneously, it could be a sign of cold or allergies. However, if only one eye is red, it could indicate a serious problem requiring urgent attention. Red eyes could be signs of Scleritis, inflammation of the white part of the eye, or Uveitis, an inflammation inside the eyeball. If you notice these signs, see your ophthalmologist.
Headaches are signs of very many different conditions. It might be headaches that come and go quickly or linger for days or weeks. A dull ache or sharp pain behind your eyes indicates an eye problem. Headaches that persist are usually a sign of a health condition.
Don’t rush for over-the-counter pain relievers every time you have a headache. Some of these conditions may be a symptom of severe eye conditions. See your eye doctor immediately.
4. Double Vision
Though related to other health conditions, double vision is also associated with several eye problems. You could have a corneal issue if you experience double vision in one eye. Double vision in both eyes is a sign of neurological problems. So, if you begin to develop slurred speech, rush to the emergency room immediately.
5. Floaters and Flashing Lights
Floaters are those little wavy lines and specks that appear in your field of vision. Typically, these lines appear when looking at plain or blank objects. Occasional floaters are normal and shouldn’t worry you much. But a sudden onset of floaters is a cause for concern. The wavy lines that seem to float in your eyes are cells floating inside your eyes. Also, floaters that come with light flashes could be a sign of a retinal tear.
Further, you may notice a shadow in your peripheral vision or a gray curtain covering part of your field of vision. A detached retina could lead to permanent vision loss unless treated early or urgently. Quick treatment can help to preserve vision.
6. Swelling of the Eyelids
The eye depends on the eyelids for sufficient lubrication and prevention of infections. A swollen eyelid is an indication of several disorders that you can treat using over-the-counter medications. If the swelling persists, you need to seek urgent medical attention.
7. Oversensitivity to Light
Our eyes can comfortably deal with varying degrees of light. However, sometimes the eye may become unable to deal with glaring lights from vehicles and flashes of light. Photophobia, or light sensitivity, usually affects your vision at night.
Mild photophobia is normal. For example, when you step out of a dark room, the outside light might affect your eyes temporarily. Severe light sensitivity may indicate a more serious problem that needs urgent intervention.
8. Eye Pain
Most eye diseases are painless, and may take longer to notice their existence. However, sudden unexplained eye pain indicates undiagnosed glaucoma or inflammation in the eyes. Eye pains mean the pressure in the eye is high. Fluid builds up in the front part of the eye, increasing the tension in your eye.
High pressure in the eye impairs the optic nerve, which is responsible for communication between the brain and the eye. Don’t try to apply pressure to your eyes. Instead, rush to your ophthalmologist for urgent treatment.
There isn’t a better way to treat vision problems than by managing them proactively. Experience any of the above symptoms could indicate serious eye problems. Yet, some symptoms may not be as severe as you imagine but still would require urgent attention. Alert your doctor immediately, and they will recommend an immediate treatment plan. So, seeking an early examination is the best way to prevent vision problems. Remember to check in at your clinic for your yearly check-up.