Recognizing symptoms of serious eye problems

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Recognizing symptoms of serious eye problems

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) around 285 million people are estimated to be visually impaired worldwide.  Of those with visual impairment, 80% can be prevented or cured.

Our eyes are our window to the world.  Think of how different life would be without our vision.  That’s why taking good care or our eyes and having regular eye exams are very important in order to detect any vision changes or progressive eye conditions that if caught early, can be treated successfully.

As we age, our eye’s ability to focus and see clearly can begin to wane.  You may notice subtle vision changes such as dry eyes leaving them feeling irritated, sticky, or gritty.  Driving at night may become an annoyance and dangerous as our night vision becomes obscured.  Then there are the eye problems of cataracts, macular degeneration, and diabetic neuropathy that can rob you of your sight.

When do you know if an eye problem is simply a bother or may mean something more serious is happening?  Recognizing potential signs and symptoms of eye issues is key.  If you notice any vision changes this warrants a visit to the eye doctor.  The earlier you catch an eye problem, even if it’s a non-vision-threatening issue, the more likely you’ll preserve your sight keeping your vision as clear as possible

Signs and symptoms of possible eye problems

Always call your doctor right away if you notice any of the following:

·      Eye pain – This could be a sign of glaucoma, dry eye, an eye injury, a scratched cornea or cancer of the eye.

·      Red eye – If both eyes are red this is probably not as serious as one red eye.  Two red eyes could be a sign of a cold or conjunctivitis (pink eye).  One red eye might mean inflammation such as scleritis or uveitis.

·      Eye discomfort if you wear contacts

·      Any loss of vision – this could mean several things from macular degeneration or glaucoma.

·      Blurred vision – glaucoma, diabetes, uveitis, or possibly a torn retina could be the cause.

·      Change in iris color

·      Crossed eyes 

·      Dark spot in the center of your field of vision

·      Double vision

·      Dry eyes with itching or burning

·      Excess discharge or tearing

·      Growing bump on the eyelid 

·      Halos (colored circles around lights) or glare 

·      Inability to close an eyelid

·      Loss of peripheral vision

·      Spots in the field of vision

·      Trouble adjusting to dark rooms

·      Unusual sensitivity to light or glare

·      Veil obstructing vision

·      Wavy or crooked appearance to straight lines

 Being alert to any eye changes can be key to avoiding potentially serious and damaging long-lasting effects to the eye.  Eye exams are not just for people who have poor vision or wear glasses or contacts.  Eye doctors can catch eye issues early before they become a problem helping safeguard a lifetime of good vision.