Warning signs of an eye problem vary with the specific condition. Some eye conditions occur suddenly, causing dramatic changes. Other types of eye diseases gradually damage the eye, causing slow, nearly imperceptible changes. In such cases, a person might not notice an eye problem until significant damage has occurred.
When it comes to eye health, the best thing you can do is follow the below steps in order to better detect an eye condition in its early stages.
Step 1: How Do Your Eyes Feel?
Evaluate the comfort of the eye’s surface. Eye discomfort or pain might indicate a number of conditions, including an infection, dry eye or a scratch on the surface, according to Medline Plus. Minor discomfort and achiness simply could indicate eye strain and the need for a new eye glass prescription. In contact lens wearers, the pain could indicate a problem with the contacts, such as a tear or improper fit. Discuss eye pain or surface irritation that does not improve with a doctor.
Step 2: How Do Your Eyes Look?
Monitor the eyes’ appearance. If your eyes appear clear and white one day, but the next day seem red and irritated, you might have an eye condition. Infections, corneal ulcers and foreign bodies in the eye can cause redness, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Broken blood vessels on the white part of the eye’s surface could cause a bright red patch, known as a subconjunctival hemorrhage. By itself, the hemorrhage might not indicate a problem. However, frequent hemorrhages, particularly in people taking blood thinners, could indicate an eye or overall health problem.
Step 3: Have You Been To The Eye Doctor Lately?
• Have an eye exam once a year and follow-up as needed. This will aid in early detection of eye disease. If you have a family history of eye disease, inform your eye doctor. This will help the doctor monitor for changes.
• If you notice unusual symptoms or if the symptoms fail to improve, contact an eye doctor immediately to prevent damage to vision or overall eye health.
General Warning Signs
Remember that any of the below changes in the appearance of your eyes or vision should be discussed with an eye doctor immediately:
• Unusual trouble adjusting to dark rooms
• Difficulty focusing on near or distant objects
• Squinting or blinking due to unusual sensitivity to light or glare
• Change in color of iris
• Red-rimmed, encrusted or swollen lids
• Recurrent pain in or around eyes
• Double vision
• Dark spot at the center of viewing
• Lines and edges appear distorted or wavy
• Excess tearing or “watery eyes”
• Dry eyes with itching or burning
• Seeing spots, ghost-like ../images.
The following may be indications of potentially serious problems that might require emergency medical attention:
• Sudden loss of vision in one eye
• Sudden hazy or blurred vision
• Flashes of light or black spots
• Halos or rainbows around light
• Curtain-like blotting out of vision
• Loss of peripheral (side) vision.
If you notice any signs of potential eye problems, see an eye doctor for a complete eye exam. Even if you have no signs, regular eye exams are recommended—especially for those with some chronic health conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure. Early detection and treatment can be the key to preventing sight loss.