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When to See the Eye Doctor Immediately

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With eyes and eyesight, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Some aspects of eye care, like a routine exam, require regular annual visits to the eye doctor. But not everyone has the same needs, so it’s important to follow the advice of an eye care professional. Depending on age, a comprehensive eye examination is suggested every two years. And for those with conditions like diabetes, ocular disorders, or a history of glaucoma, more frequent eye exams are recommended.

For those who are experiencing unusual or unfamiliar symptoms, it would be a good idea to see an eye doctor immediately. In some situations, a routine assessment would be more than enough, but for some, immediate care and attention may be required – even emergency medical attention. Today, there are some differences between urgent care and emergency care, but with the eyes, immediacy is the very best approach – again, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Focusing Problems

Blurry vision or problems with focusing could be a sign of some other health issue and should be considered serious. It might be sudden, it might come and go, and it might be in one eye or both.

Visual Disturbances

Episodes of light flashes, floating objects, or obstructed vision are all serious symptoms, perhaps even vision-threatening. These require immediate attention, proper diagnosis, and treatment.

Unusual Headaches

For some, headaches can be symptomatic of a vision problem. Recurring headaches can well be an early warning sign of something else. In any event, it’s worth having the eyes checked out.

Eyestrain or Fatigue

Generally speaking, eyestrain is common, and not usually the sign of a bigger problem. For many, long hours at the computer, lack of sleep, and seasonal allergies could be the direct cause.

Ongoing Eye Pain

Eye pain is different from eyestrain, especially if there is pain with eye movement. While the pain could be a result of an infection, it could also be more serious. A checkup is recommended.

Vision Degradation

This happens gradually over time. It may be noticeable at the computer screen, while watching the television, or at the movies. Whatever the case, it’s time for assessment and diagnosis.

Squinting the Eyes

So common for so many, repeated squinting is a good reason for an eye exam. Often, squinting is the first sign that eyeglasses are needed. Young or old, an immediate checkup is preferred.

Light Sensitivity

When sensitivity to light suddenly materializes, it’s best to get it checked.  Light sensitivity might be something straightforward like an eye infection or a symptom of something more serious.

With eye health, preventive care is the very best approach. Eye exams are recommended for all, every two years, and especially for those aged 40 and older. The thing is, eye physiology changes naturally with age, and early diagnosis sets the stage for proper treatment. Importantly, an eye exam can also reveal evolving health issues that may not have been apparent to the family doctor. The best approach to eye care is to be proactive, without taking unnecessary risks, and with eye examinations that can focus on prevention.

Written by Brian Abrams

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