According to the World Health Organization, more than 285 million people worldwide are visually impaired but approximately 80% of these cases could have been cured, even avoided, with the proper medical care. This is one of the reasons why regular eye health exams at clinics like Pearle Vision are crucial in overall health – these exams contribute in the early detection and diagnosis of progressive eye conditions like glaucoma.
In some cases, furthermore, you may experience symptoms that require immediate medical attention to increase the chances of effective treatment. You have to pay attention to these eye symptoms instead of just dismissing them as temporary in nature! Otherwise, you may just find yourself not just requiring prescription eye glasses but costly surgery, perhaps even face the prospect of living as a blind person.
Floaters, Flashing Lights, Or Gray Shadows
Retinal detachment, which can result in blindness unless treated quickly with surgery as the most common and effective option, is characterized by the sudden onset of flashing lights, or a gray curtain in your field of vision, or a significant increase in floaters. Keep in mind that retinal detachment can be caused by glaucoma, a serious eye disease that causes blindness in millions of people worldwide.
Sudden Loss of Vision in One or Both Eyes
If you have suddenly lost part or most of your vision in one or both eyes, you have reason to be concerned as it can be a symptom of a serious eye condition, such as:
- Age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of vision loss in older people in the United States. While most AMD cases result in gradual vision loss, it can also be sudden in nature, such as when blood vessels in the affected eye leaks blood or fluid under the retina.
- Glaucoma coupled with a rapid build-up of fluid pressure in the affected eye that, in turn, damages the optic nerve.
This is a common sign of an eye health issue but many people will ignore it after it has resolved on its own. But this shouldn’t be as it can signal a number of eye issues including uveitis, glaucoma, AMD, or a torn retina. Even vision loss in one eye is among the early signs of a stroke – the carotid artery, one of the eyes’ major blood suppliers, may be blocked.
Other serious symptoms that you shouldn’t ignore are persistent discomfort in the eyes, acute or chronic pain in the eyes, and eye discomfort for contact lens wearers. The bottom line: Take good care of your eyes by listening to what they are telling you, just as you listen to your body’s signals.