Most people experience vision changes at some point in their lives, but many people ignore them until it gets to the point that they have difficulty engaging in their favorite activities or until it becomes a significant enough inconvenience that they simply can’t ignore it anymore. It is very rare that people suddenly lose their vision; it is more common that vision loss is the result of a slow progression over time. In today’s post, we’ll clue you into some of the common indicators of eye health trouble that you shouldn’t ignore.
Many of us have seen floaters in our eyes — the little squigglies that cross our field of vision and disappear. While the occasional floater is common and nothing to be concerned about, a sudden increase in floaters or floaters that do not seem to go away is a reason to schedule an eye exam. Eye floaters are especially concerning if they are accompanied by flashes of light or obscured vision and can indicate a retinal tear.
- Blurred Vision
Blurred vision is often the first sign of vision changes or impaired eye health. While it could be a symptom of a simple case of dry eye, left untreated, it can result in damage to your eyes or vision. Blurred vision can even be a sign of hypertension or diabetes or an early sign of glaucoma or cataracts. In any event, blurred vision should not be ignored. If you are experiencing blurred vision, schedule an eye exam as soon as possible.
3. Blind Spots
Blind spots in your line of vision, including your peripheral vision, should be addressed quickly. High blood pressure, diabetes, and even a stroke are a few serious issues that can cause blind spots. While some people experience a slow onset of blind spots related to glaucoma, sudden blind spots can indicate a stroke and should be assessed in an emergency room.
A halo in your visual field, especially when looking at lights or bright screens, is a later sign of glaucoma and can lead to blindness if left untreated. Another reason to make a visit to your eye specialist.
- Dark Spots
Dark spots can be similar to blind spots, but many people state they are able to see through the dark spots, but it is difficult. Dark spots in your vision can be a sign of macular degeneration, which left untreated, could result in blindness over time.
6. Sudden Visual Changes
Regardless of whether the vision change is one of the ones mentioned above, any sudden change in vision of any type is a medical emergency that should be evaluated as soon as possible, even if your vision restores itself within a few minutes, sudden vision changes can indicate a transient ischemic attack (mini-stroke) or a traumatic brain injury, neither of which should be dismissed.
7. Double Vision
Double vision can indicate a few different things, but should never be ignored, even if it is temporary. If you experience double vision when both eyes are open, it’s likely a result of dry eye or a cataract. If closing one eye resolves your double vision, it may indicate a neurological problem that should be assessed quickly.
Your eyes, and vision, are a clear indicator of your overall health and wellness. If you experience unexpected changes, even if it’s overtime, it’s important to have your symptoms evaluated. In addition to visual changes you shouldn’t ignore, let’s discuss a few eye symptoms you should have checked out right away.
A Few Eye Symptoms You Should Never Ignore
- Eye Color Changes
If the whites of your eyes become yellow or red, these are glaring red flags of medical conditions that should not be ignored. Yellowing whites of the eyes is a condition called jaundice, which indicates a liver malfunction. Red whites of the eyes can be indicative of a variety of issues ranging from stress, injury, conjunctivitis (pink eye) or something more nefarious including bleeding disorders.
- Droopy Eyelids
Symmetrical droopy eyelids could be a normal sign of aging when collagen is no longer effectively keeping your eyelids taut. However, if only one eyelid is droopy, with or without vision changes, it may be a symptom of a stroke or stroke-like activity in your brain. This symptom, even if it resolves within a few hours, should be considered a medical emergency and treated in an emergency room.
- Different Sized Pupils
While certain eye diseases may cause your pupils to be less reactive or sluggish, both pupils should always react to changes in light the same way and be the same size. When your pupils are two different sizes, it can indicate an aneurysm or spinal injury and should be evaluated in an emergency right away.
- Painful Eyes
Eye pain is never something that should be ignored, and self-care should be limited. Pain in the eyes indicates irritation, inflammation, or swelling, and may be a result of injury or disease. If the eye pain comes on suddenly, is severe, or lasts for more than a minute or two, see an ophthalmologist right away. If eye pain is the result of a foreign object in the eye, never attempt to remove it yourself and see a doctor immediately.
It is a common misconception that vision changes or progressive blindness is a result of normal aging. The truth is that vision changes and eye symptoms can be indications of poor eye health as well as other health issues. We recommend regular visits to your ophthalmologist or optometrist in addition to daily eye supplements that support optimal eye health. Browse all of our eye vitamins today!