Many times people tend to take their vision for granted because the eyes are always there and vision has become a sort of subconscious, everyday function. From the time you wake up in the morning to the moment when you fall asleep, your eyes are an essential, yet forgettable part of you. The good news is that you don’t have to worry about your eyesight so much if you visit an optometrist regularly.
An optometrist is a kind of doctor who deals with the primary health care of your eyes. You may also choose to see an optometrist if you seem to be experiencing some symptoms that make you think there could be a problem with your eyes. Here are some signs that indicate you should visit an optometrist today.
- Headaches – Some people develop severe headaches and wonder why. Well, a bad headache that occurs often may mean that your eyes are having a hard time focusing and it takes extra effort to see things up close. If your headache is located somewhere near your temple or in the front part of your head, you may need a vision exam to rule out a problem with your eyes.
- Have Trouble Removing Foreign Object – Everyone has probably had this problem at least once, such as when you’re on a sidewalk and a sudden gust of wind brings a speck of sand into your eye. Resist the urge to rub because that might scratch the lens of your eye. Instead, go to your optometrist to have the foreign object removed.
- Need to Squint To See Anything Clearly – If you haven’t been using eyeglasses yet, this may be a sign that you need glasses already. Observe if you need to squint to see things up close or to see things at a distance – those are two different symptoms.
- Blurry Vision – This is a common symptom and usually means you will need eyeglasses or contact lenses already. You need to get the correct grade of glasses to be able to correct your vision sufficiently.
- Sensitivity to Light – For some, this may mean that your eyes are infected. If the light sensitivity seems to occur in tandem with other symptoms such as redness, and discharge from the eye itself, then you definitely need to consult your eye doctor
- Seeing Floaters When You Look At Something Bright – Floaters are those squiggly lines that seem to “float” in your line of vision, especially when you happen to look at a white wall or into a source of light, like the sun. This is a very dangerous sign that might indicate you have a detached retina. A detached retina can lead to blindness so it’s best to see your eye doctor right away.
- Painful Eyes – This symptom may mean different things so it is important to rule them out one by one. It could mean you have dry eye syndrome which can be resolved by using ophthalmic eye drops regularly. If you had an accident that may have affected your eyes, then your eyes could have been injured. Pain in the eye may also be serious because it could indicate glaucoma or eye cancer. If the pain is short-lived there might not be a big problem. However, if the pain is quite intense and refuses to go away, you definitely need to go to your eye doctor right away to rule out a more serious problem.
- See a Halo Around Lights – If you have this symptom, you might already have developed cataracts. A cataract is a thickening of the lens of the eye which can only be corrected by surgical removal of the cataract itself. The good news is that medical procedures involving cataract removal have progressed so that this has become a routine medical procedure by now.
- Red, Itchy and Swollen Eyelids – This could be caused by a bite from an insect (such as a cockroach) while you were sleeping. It might also mean an eye infection. It is best to let an optometrist check it out because it might escalate into something more serious.
- Double Vision – This symptom can mean that you simply need corrective eyeglasses, or it might indicate more serious problems with your eyes and even your brain. It pays to consult your doctor right away when this occurs.
Some people forget about visiting their eye doctor until serious symptoms start to occur. You can correct this tendency by visiting your optometrist at least once a year for an eye exam. Your optometrist is trained to provide primary eye health care so having an eye exam once a year is a good way to rule out problems before they get worse. Be sure to document your symptoms if there are any so that the optometrist gets a good idea of what is really happening with your eyes and can recommend a solution.