Most people today rarely visit their optometrists as scheduled – they come up with excuses not to go. Typically, everyone needs an eye exam each year, a procedure that enables the eye doctor to spot signs of eye problems in advance and offer treatment before one's eyesight is jeopardized. So, if you haven't visited an optometrist for a while or are experiencing the following symptoms, schedule an appointment right away.
You should never ignore eye pain or think it will go away soon. Although eye pain doesn't necessarily mean your vision is failing, it's a symptom that warrants a visit to an eye doctor. Usually, it can be caused by something minor like a dry eye or could signify that you have an injury.
It can also imply you have a severe condition like glaucoma, scratched cornea, or eye cancer. Thus, before your eye pain starts causing allergies or lack of sleep, see an optometrist to determine the cause and get treated.
An Unexpected Loss of Vision
Visit your optometrist whenever you unexpectedly lose vision in either or both eyes. This problem is a sign of stroke or other serious conditions. Partial loss of vision like tunnel vision, blind spots, or a curtain covering the visual field requires urgent attention too. A partial or complete loss of vision may indicate a retinal detachment or closed-angle glaucoma. These two eye conditions are severe and should be treated right away.
If you have burning or itchy eyes, it could result from an allergy. While it's possible to treat mild eye allergies at home using artificial tears or minimizing allergen exposure, more severe reactions can only be addressed once you see an eye doctor. They will diagnose the cause of the irritation and prescribe eye drops and other drugs, as well as allergy shots. Sometimes itchy eyes are a sign of conjunctivitis, so you may need antimicrobial eye drops.
Another common sign of deteriorating eyesight you cannot overlook is squinting. Squinting means you are trying hard to see better, mainly when doing simple activities like looking at a laptop, reading, or watching the television. If you find yourself squinting, schedule an appointment with your eye doctor to determine if you require vision correction.
Depending on the outcome of your optometrist's visit and preference, you may be required to wear contact lenses or eyeglasses. Sometimes you might need corrective surgery if the condition is severe.