7 Eye Symptoms You Should Never Ignore
Ideally, everyone should visit their eye doctor every year or two for a comprehensive eye exam. Factors such as age, whether you wear eyeglasses, risk factors, and the current health of your eyes should impact this frequency. In most cases, though, these routine visits will be enough to enable proper eye and vision care. However, there are situations in which you will want to schedule emergency appointments with your eye doctors. Here are seven specific eye symptoms that should prompt an immediate appointment for an eye checkup:
- Floaters and flashes: You have probably seen “floaters” crossing your vision before. That’s the term for those odd cobweb-like shapes that you occasionally see, especially when you are looking toward something bright. These floaters aren’t a big problem. However, if the floaters turn into spots that impair your vision more significantly, or if inexplicable flashes of light suddenly accompany them, you need to consult your eye doctor immediately. These symptoms have been associated with torn or detached retinas, with internal eye bleeding and hemorrhaging, and with other severe conditions.
- Double vision: Double vision can affect either one eye (monocular) or both eyes (binocular). The causes for each variation of the condition are different, running the range from corneal conditions such as keratoconus and astigmatism to autoimmune diseases or neurological issues. In any case, double vision is not a problem that should be ignored.
- Unequal pupil size: Is one of your pupils suddenly larger or smaller (more or less dilated) than the other? This condition, known as “anisocoria,” can often be linked to severe medical emergencies such as stroke, aneurysm, brain tumors, or brain infections.
- Chronic redness or irritation: These symptoms tend to go overlooked, if only because redness, itchiness, and irritation of the eyes are all so common. These issues can be caused by looking at screens for extended periods, by allergies, by stress, or by wearing the same pair of contact lenses for too long. However, these symptoms might also indicate an eye infection (such as pink eye) or might be the first sign of more serious eye diseases, such as iritis.
- Excessively watery eyes: Chronically watery eyes are another condition that tends to get written off as not very seriously. While allergies can cause watery eyes, these symptoms have other causes too: dry eye syndrome, corneal ulcers, scratches on the cornea, or even disorders of the tear ducts.
- Drooping eyelids: Drooping eyelids, or ptosis, have a range of different causes, ranging from the benign (allergies, aging) to the severe (stroke, brain tumor, or nerve damage). Ptosis might also be a sign of myasthenia gravis, an autoimmune condition that causes muscle weakness. If you have recently suffered eye trauma or undergone eye surgery, those situations could also have caused your droopy eyelids. In some cases, ptosis will resolve itself over time. Because can be associated with several serious medical conditions, though, you should consult your eye doctor about it.
- Eye pain: Eye pain is never normal, period. Even if the cause behind your eye pain seems obvious—such as a recent eye injury—you should still check with your eye doctor about severe pain. Eye pain that occurs more randomly is even more concerning, as it could indicate glaucoma or other serious conditions.
If you notice any substantial changes in your vision—such as more blurring, or reduced clarity or range—you should consult your eye doctor to find out what is going on. At Miami Contact Lens Institute, we are here to diagnose, treat, and offer advice on any eye or vision symptoms you may experience. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.