We all know that it’s important to get eye exams. But if you live a busy life, you may find yourself putting off getting an eye exam more and more.
Adults should get an eye exam every two years. However, you should go more often if you’re experiencing problems with your eyes. Sometimes, problems with the eyes could indicate other more serious problems elsewhere in the body.
So continue reading and we’ll walk you through the main signs that indicate you need to see an eye doctor.
1. Foreign Object
If you get anything in your eyes, such as dirt, chemicals, grit, or any big objects, then you should immediately seek medical attention. For small bits of debris and chemicals, you should flush out your eyes with clean and cool water for at least ten minutes. Hopefully, this will remove the debris or chemicals from your eyes before they can cause any more damage.
If an object is lodged in your eye, you should try to wash it away. If you can’t get it out this way, you shouldn’t try to get it out with tweezers or fingers. You also shouldn’t rub your eyes.
Instead, call your eye doctor for an emergency appointment.
2. Eye Pain
Mild and infrequent eye pain is usually not something to worry over. However, if you’re experiencing ongoing or intense pain in your eyes, then you should definitely schedule an appointment with your eye doctor.
Pain can sometimes mean that you have an eye infection or something even more serious.
3. Eye Fatigue
Many of us spend most of our days staring at screens, whether it’s a computer, television, or cell phone. This can lead to eye fatigue.
If eye fatigue is becoming a problem for you, you should speak to your eye doctor about getting special glasses to help keep your eyes strong and healthy.
4. Eye Infection
If your eyelids are red, itchy, or swollen, or the whites of your eyes are discolored and pink, then you might have an eye infection. An infected eye might also have discharge, although even if it doesn’t, that doesn’t mean it’s not infected.
If you think that you have an eye infection, you may be contagious and you should book an appointment with your eye doctor right away.
5. Problems Focusing or Blurry Vision
Problems with focusing or experiencing blurry vision might be a sign of a bigger health problem. If you notice this happening to you, then you should book an emergency exam with your doctor as soon as you can. If your blurry vision comes and goes, or if it’s only happening in one eye, then you should schedule a regular exam with your eye doctor.
Vision that slowly gets blurrier over time isn’t something that you necessarily need to worry about. Our eyes and vision changes as we age and you might just need to get a new prescription for your glasses or contact lenses.
6. Spots, Flashes, and Floaters
Usually, noticing spots, flashes, and floaters aren’t any cause for concern. These phenomena are caused by pieces of protein, blood cells, and other tissue that are embedded in the clear material that fills the inside of your eye. As we get older, this material becomes more fluid and can make the bits of tissue and protein even more noticeable.
With that said, some floaters – especially when they’re accompanied by flashes of light – might indicate a very serious problem. This can include a detached retina.
A few floaters or spots here and there isn’t any cause for concern. However, if you experience swirly mists or a curtain over part of your eye, flashes of light, or a cloud of floaters, then you should definitely schedule an appointment with your eye doctor.
The majority of retinal detachments can be fixed if they’re treated quickly. But if they’re not treated soon enough, then you might experience a loss of vision or even blindness.
7. Double Vision
Also known as diplopia, double vision can occur in one eye or both of the eyes. When double vision happens in just one eye, it might be caused by keratoconus, dry eye, or astigmatism.
Abnormalities in the lens, nerves, cornea, brain, or retina can also lead to double vision. This is why it’s so important to meet with your eye doctor as soon as possible if you have double vision.
When you have double vision because your eyes can’t properly coordinate, that’s known as binocular double vision. People who have binocular double vision can see totally fine with each individual eye. This kind of double vision usually occurs when the eyes are pointed at slightly different angles, which causes them to send different signals to the brain.
The best way to know what’s causing your double vision is to visit your eye doctor.
The Importance of Knowing When to See an Eye Doctor
Your eyes are not only the windows to your soul. They’re also the windows to your brain. And because they play such a vital role in the health of your body, it’s important that you give them the attention and care that they deserve.
If you experience any of the signs above, then you should consider seeing your eye doctor in order to get checked out and make sure that it’s nothing serious.
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