8 Signs That You Need To Schedule An Appointment With An Ophthalmologist Right Now

Lifestyle & Health

Problems with vision are very common around the world, with 60% of the world's population being in need of some form of vision correction, according to Vision Impact Institute. Fortunately, around 80% of people that have sight problems can be cured, which is one more reason not to delay getting your eyes checked out.

See an ophthalmologist regularly

Poor eye-sight typically comes with age, and its causes range from mild to severe that can result in blindness. CDC warns us that almost 3.5 million Americans over 40 are either blind or visually impaired.

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Vision can worsen rapidly, so it is crucial that you schedule an appointment with an ophthalmologist at least once a year if you are over the age of 50. Getting a timely test can mean the difference between having to wear glasses and open-eye surgery. Also, eye exams can detect conditions that could irreversibly damage the quality of your vision, such as glaucoma or cataract. Furthermore, an ophthalmologist can diagnose various illnesses by looking at your eyes, such as cancer and diabetes.

Knowing the symptoms

Recognizing signs and symptoms of an eye problem will not only improve your vision but the overall quality of life as well.

Dr. John Lahr, divisional vice president of EyeMed Provider Relations and medical director, implores people to seek professional advice if they suspect any sight problems.

Symptoms of vision impairment are wide-ranging. However, the only way to accurately diagnose a vision problem is to see an eye care professional.

If you notice any of the following symptoms, make sure to see an ophthalmologist so he can order follow-up tests or start the treatment. Be sure to track any changes in the color of your eyes as it can be a result of an underlying illness.

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1. Blurring vision

Seeing a doctor if you are experiencing blurred vision should come naturally. If you catch yourself extending your arm or squinting when reading, it is probably a sign of farsightedness. Likewise, if the objects seem blurry in the distance, you are probably suffering from nearsightedness and should see a professional.

2. Poor nighttime vision

One of the first signs of the cataract is requiring more light to see in parts of the day which once posed no problem. For example, you might have trouble discerning figures in the dawn or the sunset.

3. Issues with brightness

Muscles which control the iris weaken as we grow old, and they can compensate for the change when the eyes get sudden light in a dark environment. If you have the problem, you can notice this when driving on the highway at night.

4. Trouble with reading on a computer

Another possible sign of farsightedness is the increasing trouble reading online articles about eye problems, for example. If you have to readjust the distance of your chair, it is time to schedule an appointment.

5. Eyes getting easily tired

One more symptom that usually comes with old age is the feeling of strain in your eyes. It comes mostly from people overcompensating their vision problems by squinting or blinking to regain focus.

6. Headaches

Headaches (not to be mixed with migraines) are a consequence of the previous symptom. Strained eyes have to work harder and put more effort for the person to see correctly, thus causing headaches.

7. Halos around bright objects

Halos usually imply night vision problems as they appear around objects that shine in the dark. However, halos could also be a symptom of cataract and should not be taken lightly.

8. Pressure behind the eye

Eye pressure is the leading cause of glaucoma and can have detrimental effects on the optic nerve. Ocular hypertension can result in permanent loss of vision.

Apart from these general symptoms, some signs cannot be put aside even for a moment, and it is highly recommended to seek immediate medical attention in case they happen to you:

  • eye bulging (one or both eyes);
  • a part of the visual field is dark or blocked;
  • temporary loss of vision;
  • seeing double;
  • excess tearing;
  • eye injury;
  • loss of peripheral (side) vision;
  • eye pain;
  • severe or persistent redness as it can indicate melanoma.

Even if you are not currently suffering from any of the symptoms above, but you are older than 50 and haven't had a check-up in more than a year, you should have your eyes checked by an ophthalmologist as soon as possible.

Source: AAO.org, VSP.com, EyeSiteOnWellness

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This article is purely for informational purposes. Do not self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for harm that may result from using the information stated in the article.

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