Did you know that in the United States alone, about 12 million people 40 or older have impaired vision? Of those folks, 8 million have vision impairments due to uncorrected refractive errors.
Those statistics are worrisome, but the good news is that many eye problems are treatable. However, their correct treatment starts with an eye doctor appointment.
But how exactly can you tell it’s time to see an eye doctor? What signs and symptoms warrant a trip to an ophthalmologist ASAP?
We’ve listed the top indications below, so read on.
Table of Contents
1. You Have Diabetes or Hypertension
Diabetes, which 37 million people in the U.S. have, can cause diabetic eye disease (DED). As its name implies, DED is a group of eye problems that affect people with diabetes. They include diabetic retinopathy, cataracts, glaucoma, and macular edema.
Likewise, high blood pressure (hypertension) can result in ocular damage too. Over time, it can damage the retina’s blood vessels and, if left untreated, can lead to vision loss.
If you’ve recently received a diagnosis for either condition, see an eye doctor ASAP. That allows your ophthalmologist to monitor the health of your eyes. From there, schedule a periodic eye exam once or twice a year.
2. You Notice Changes in Your Vision
Blurriness, trouble focusing, and low-light vision problems indicate eye problems. Some of these can be due to age-related wear and tear. However, they can also be due to an underlying condition, such as cataracts or glaucoma.
Either way, it’s best to schedule an eye doctor visit as soon as you notice such changes. Otherwise, your vision might degrade further, leading to permanent vision loss.
3. Your Eyes and Head Hurt
Do you feel pain in your eyes and your head while focusing on a task? If so, take a break every 20 minutes and rest your eyes on an object at least 20 feet away. Do this for about 20 seconds.
If the pain goes away, then what you might be experiencing is eye strain.
If that trick doesn’t work and you still get eye pain and headaches, see a doctor of ophthalmology ASAP. You may have a refractive error, such as myopia, hyperopia, presbyopia, or astigmatism. They’re all treatable and, in most cases, only require glasses or contact lenses.
However, it’s vital to correct refractive eye errors ASAP, as they can worsen over time.
4. Vision Problems Following Head Trauma
Some 1.7 to 3.8 million cases of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) occur in the U.S. each year. Many of those who experience them recover, but others sustain permanent damage. Vision problems, in turn, are typical consequences of TBIs and other head injuries.
So if you’ve experienced head trauma and noticed vision woes, see an eye doctor ASAP. You may need exams to ensure your eyes are intact and have no damage.
Schedule an Eye Doctor Appointment Today
And there you have it, the guide on the symptoms indicating it’s time for an eye doctor appointment. If any of the above applies to you, please see an ophthalmologist ASAP.
If not, it’s still best to visit an eye doctor at least once every two years. Periodic eye exams can help ensure your eyes are in top condition and detect problems early on.
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