Routine eye exams are critical to maintaining your vision health. Early detection is crucial to avoiding serious and permanent damage from correctable eye conditions such as cataracts and glaucoma. While annual eye exams can detect and treat these progressive eye conditions, you may experience symptoms that require immediate attention such as blurry vision or eye pain.
If you experience any of the following symptoms, be sure to seek medical attention immediately:
Eye Floaters, Flashes, or Shadows in Your Vision
Beware if you experience a gray shadow in your peripheral vision, a gray curtain that appears across your line of sight, a sudden onset of flashing lights, or a significant increase in the amount of eye floaters: these could all be signs of a detached retina. The retina is the thin nerve layer at the back of the eye that sends images to the brain via the optic nerve. Physical injury to the eye, diseases like glaucoma, and nearsightedness can all lead to retinal detachment. Retinal detachment needs to be surgically treated, or else it can lead to blindness.
One Red Eye
If both of your eyes are red, you have most likely contracted a cold or conjunctivitis, which is a relatively harmless inflammation. However, if just one of your eyes is red, it may be an indication of a more severe eye infection such as scleritis or uveitis. Scleritis is the inflammation of the outer protective barrier surrounding the eye. Uveitis is the inflammation of the middle coating of the eye. Both of these infections are serious, and require antibiotics or medicated eye drops to clear up.
Blurry vision can signal numerous eye disorders, from a torn retina to age-related macular degeneration (AMD). In addition, blurred or loss of vision in one eye can be an early indicator of a stroke. Blurred vision in one eye can also indicate that the carotid artery, which is a major supplier of blood to the eye, is blocked.
Any Loss of Vision
Sudden vision loss could be a sign of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). While this is usually considered a progressive disorder, it can develop quickly in some cases. The loss of vision can also indicate a certain kind of glaucoma.
Eye pain may be a symptom of glaucoma, dry eye, eye injury, and even eye cancer.
Discomfort Wearing Contact Lenses
Contact lenses that are not cared for properly can lead to serious eye infections. If you experience eye discomfort while wearing contact lenses, consult your eye care professional.
Any eye injury should be examined by an ophthalmologist, especially if you experience redness or pain for longer than 20 minutes thereafter.
If you experience persistent eye irritation after exposure to harsh chemicals, such as when cleaning, see a doctor immediately.
Eye Surgery Complications
If you experience any redness, pain, or blurry vision after having an eye surgery, contact an eye doctor immediately for an evaluation.
If you or a loved one experience any of these symptoms, schedule an examination with Dr. Ghosheh immediately.