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7 Signs You Need to See an Eye Doctor

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Your eye doctor is here to diagnose and treat eye conditions, but it can be difficult to know when to visit them for an exam. How can you tell if an issue isn’t serious or if it’s a potential emergency

Watch for these 7 signs of a possible eye problem, so you know when to visit your optometrist. 

7 Signs You Should Visit Your Eye Doctor

It can be hard to tell when an eye-related problem is a risk to your vision. Many eye conditions can have similar symptoms. For example, blurry vision may mean you need glasses or can be a sign of a vision-threatening disease

To protect your vision, you should visit your eye doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms: 

  • Blurry vision
  • Double vision
  • Eye irritation or pain
  • Halos, flashes, or floaters
  • Foreign object in the eye
  • Light sensitivity 
  • Dry eyes

Blurry Vision

Blurry vision can be confusing because of how many conditions experience it as a symptom. Difficulty seeing can mean you have a refractive error like myopia, or it can be a sign of something more serious. 

Visit your eye doctor if you experience sudden blurry vision—it can be a sign of several harmful eye problems. These conditions include

  • Detached retina
  • Wet macular degeneration
  • Angle-closure glaucoma
  • Concussion

While your blurry vision may not be a significant concern, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Treat your eyes with care, and book an eye exam if you have blurry vision. 

Double Vision

Double vision, known as diplopia, is a condition where you see 2 images instead of one. This problem occurs because each eye sees a slightly different image, which the brain usually combines into one. Double vision happens when something interrupts this normal process. 

Strabismus is a common cause of double vision, but other conditions can lead to this symptom. You should always visit your eye doctor if you experience double vision. 

Other causes of double vision include: 

Eye Irritation or Pain

Many issues can cause eye irritation or pain—some aren’t severe, while others can lead to potential vision loss. It’s better to play it safe when it comes to eye pain. 

Visit your eye doctor if you have severe eye pain or experience it regularly. 

Halos, Flashes, or Floaters

Halos, flashes, and floaters can be normal with your vision. However, a sudden increase in them can mean it’s time to visit your eye doctor. 

Halos are the bright circles you see around light sources, like car headlights when driving. While halos can be normal, you should visit your eye doctor if they occur alongside other symptoms. Visit your optometrist immediately if you experience halos and a sudden loss of vision, blurry vision, eye pain, double vision, or blind spots in your sight. 

Flashes of light occur when the vitreous gel, the substance inside your eye, pulls on the retina. When this happens, you see flashes of light that can look like streaking lights. The occasional light flash is normal but go to your eye doctor right away if you experience consistent light flashes or vision changes. 

Floaters are the little strands or specks that can appear in your vision. They’re pieces of clumped-together material in the vitreous. Floaters are common with age, but a sudden increase means you should visit your optometrist. 

A female eye doctor is removing a foreign object from the eye of a boy.

Foreign Object in Your Eye

A foreign object in the eye is anything that isn’t supposed to be there, big or small. Dirt, sand, and other debris are common causes of foreign objects in the eye. Anything in your eye is cause for a visit to your eye doctor. 

Symptoms of a foreign object can include: 

  • Discomfort
  • Eye pain
  • Excessive blinking
  • Red eyes
  • Watery eyes

Light Sensitivity 

Light sensitivity occurs when bright natural and artificial light hurts your eyes. Some patients may squint when entering a room, but others may feel pain when exposed to a light source. Light sensitivity can be a symptom of different eye conditions. 

This condition may not be serious, but you should visit your eye doctor if you experience light sensitivity alongside other symptoms. 

Dry Eyes

Dry eyes can seem normal, especially after a long day. However, consistent dry eyes can be a sign something is affecting your eye health. Many people experience dry, irritated eyes that affect their quality of life. 

Visit your eye doctor if you experience regular dry eyes. Besides dryness, you may experience other symptoms related to this condition, including: 

  • Gritty eyes
  • A stinging or burning sensation in the eyes
  • Light sensitivity
  • Red eyes
  • Difficulty wearing contacts
  • Watery eyes
  • Blurry vision
  • Eye fatigue

Don’t Ignore Eye Issues

Your vision is precious, so treat your eyes with care. Don’t ignore a potential problem—peace of mind is worth the trip to your optometrist. They can examine your eyes, diagnose problems, and assess any damage. 

Contact Total Vision Rancho Bernardo if you experience any signs of an eye problem.

Written by Total Vision

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