Throughout our lives, we will experience mild vision changes that may be rather inconvenient and even painful but aren’t signs of going blind or other serious vision issues.
Dry eyes and eye strain are common problems that may resolve on their own and don’t mean that we are losing vision.
However, in some cases, flashing lights, eye pain, and even seemingly harmful things like floaters can be signs of more serious problems, signaling that you need a prompt visit to your eye health expert. In those cases, visiting Dr. Steven Stetson and his team of eye care professionals should be your top priority.
That being said, problems like sudden vision changes, losing vision, and eye pain shouldn’t be ignored as they can be signs you’re going blind.
Vision Loss by the Numbers
On a global scale, around 250 million people have to deal with visual impairment, according to the WHO’s (World Health Organization) data. What’s more troubling is the fact that around 80% of these cases could have been prevented if attended timely.
This is why visiting your doctor for eye exams regularly is so crucial. Even before experiencing minor vision changes, checkups can be imperative in diagnosing progressing eye problems like glaucoma. This is a rather common vision problem that only produces a few minor symptoms in its earliest stages.
On the other hand, visiting the doctor should be mandatory in the case of sudden vision changes and eye pain. On that end, here’s a list of symptoms you should ignore because, in some cases, they might be signs you’re going blind.
- Floaters, Gray Shadows in Your Vision, and Flashing Lights
While floaters aren’t apparent symptoms that signal you’re losing vision, if there are a lot of them, accompanied by a sudden onset of a gray curtain in your vision field with flashing lights, you should see your doctor right away. These symptoms can signal a rather serious condition, the detachment of your retina. This happens when the layer of nerves in the backside of your eye detaches. This nerve layer is responsible for sending images to your brain, enabling you to see.
Blunt trauma, as well as conditions like diabetes and nearsightedness all increase the risk of retinal detachment. Once it happens, it should be addressed with surgery as fast as possible, as the condition can cause blindness.
That being said, if you ever experience the above-mentioned vision changes, visit your eye expert as soon as possible.
- Eye Pain
In most cases, eye diseases are painless, but there are conditions that can cause pain. Especially after suffering a serious eye injury, pain and vision changes shouldn’t be ignored and must be reported to a doctor as quickly as possible. On the other hand, other conditions like dry eyes, glaucoma, eye cancer, and a scratched cornea can all cause eye pain.
- Losing Vision in of Your Eyes
When you’re suddenly losing vision, the underlying problems can be many. For instance, sudden vision loss can be caused by AMD or age-related macular degeneration. This is the leading vision loss cause in people over the age of 65 in the country. If you’ve heard about macular degeneration already, then you know that the symptoms are gradual in most cases. However, vision loss can also happen suddenly. When the eye’s blood vessels leak blood or fluid under the retina, it can damage the nerves that enable you to see.
When there’s a rapid fluid buildup in the eye, the pressure can damage the optic nerve. Also, a type of glaucoma can also lead to sudden vision changes, i.e., vision loss. At the same time, there are several other conditions that may lead to vision loss.
- Blurry Vision
In most cases, blurry vision isn’t among the signs you’re going blind. However, in rarer cases, even when the blur clears up, it can signal several eye problems, like age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, a torn retina, uveitis, and more. Also, losing vision in one of your eyes can signal other problems, like suffering a stroke. When vision loss happens to only one eye, it could mean that the carotid artery is blocked. The carotid artery is the largest blood supplier to the eyes, and the buildup can cut off the blood flow to the eyes.
- Eye Injury
As we’ve talked about this before, eye injuries can lead to losing vision and sudden vision changes, depending on their severity.
On that end, more significant and severe injuries to the eyes should always be checked by a professional, especially if the pain persists for more than 20 minutes and it’s accompanied by redness.
- Eye Discomfort when Wearing Contact Lenses
The majority of people who wear contacts don’t experience any problems, let alone vision loss symptoms. However, if wearers don’t follow the basics of proper lens maintenance, use, and care, they can contract serious infections. That being said, if you experience any vision loss symptoms, pain, discomfort, or redness because of wearing contacts, visit your ophthalmologist as soon as possible.
- Constant Eye Discomfort
When you are experiencing persistent discomfort in your eyes or eye, this may be due to a small particle that might have entered the eye. This can happen when you’re working with a hammer, under a car, or performing other types of work. When this happens, never ignore it and visit a doctor as quickly as you can. An expert will have to evaluate your condition and take the necessary course of action. Foreign particles in your eyes can lead to vision changes, infection, and even more severe problems down the road.
That being said, you should always wear protective eyewear while working.
- Red Eyes
When it comes to red eyes, experts will usually say that it’s better to have both eyes affected by the problem than only one. When both of your eyes are red, chances are you’re dealing with pink eye or conjunctivitis, a self-healing, minor infection. However, when only one of the eyes is read, that could be a sign of more severe inflammation, more specifically scleritis. This is a condition that happens when the outer protective area of the eye gets inflamed. Uveitis can also cause redness in one eye only. This is when the middle coating of an eyeball becomes inflamed.
- Complications from Eye Surgery
While complications following surgery are rare, they might happen. Blurry vision, redness, and eye pain after surgery should be immediately assessed by a professional.
As a matter of fact, even if these problems go away, you should still tell them about your doctor to make sure everything’s fine.
The Importance of Regular Checkups
As you can see, being regular with your eye health appointments can go a long way in preserving your vision and in catching serious problems in their earliest stages, when they are the easiest to treat.
Proper care and regular screenings are essential in keeping every aspect of your health in check. That being said, if you are looking for impeccable eye-care services, feel free to reach out to our experts.