It can be hard to tell when an eye symptom is serious or not. The “wait and see” approach can work at times, but in certain situations, waiting can be detrimental to your eye health.
Here are 5 eye symptoms that warrant a call or visit to Dr. Hopkins & Associates Optometry without delay, so we can treat your condition quickly and help keep your eyes and vision healthy.
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1. Eye Pain
No amount of eye pain is normal in healthy eyes. So when your eye hurts, it's worth investigating.
There are 2 main types of eye pain: ocular pain and orbital pain.
Ocular pain describes any uncomfortable sensations you may feel on the surface of the eye, like itching, burning, or scratchiness. Common causes of ocular pain are trauma, infection or foreign objects.
Orbital pain is deeper within the eye, and can be described as stabbing, throbbing or aching. This type of pain usually requires a more in-depth evaluation and treatment.
If you experience vision loss or changes along with your eye pain, contact your eye doctor right away.
2. Double Vision
Diplopia, commonly called double vision, is when you see two images of a single object. It can occur in either one or both eyes.
Double vision is a symptom of several conditions, ranging in severity from needing an updated eyeglass prescription to having a stroke. That's why having your eyes checked if you're experiencing double vision is so important.
3. Sudden Floaters or Flashes
Those floating black or silver squiggly lines, circles and thread-like strands in your field of vision are called floaters. Eye flashes look like lightning, camera flashes or shooting stars.
Occasional eye floaters and flashes are common, normal and usually harmless.
The problem arises when you suddenly see an increase in the number and frequency of floaters, especially when accompanied by flashes. This is usually the first symptom of retinal detachment — a sight-threatening eye condition that requires immediate treatment.
4. Redness and Swelling
We've all had red eyes at some point. Whether from a late night out or simply allergies, red eyes often resolve on their own.
When the redness is accompanied by swelling, pain, irritation or discomfort — it's time for a visit to the optometrist, as this can signal an eye infection or abrasion.
5. Blurred Vision
Blurred vision can mean you need an updated lens prescription, or something more serious like cataracts or a problem with your retina. Either way, if your vision starts becoming fuzzy, don't ignore it.
After taking a full history and conducting a comprehensive eye exam, your eye doctor will determine the cause of your blurred vision and suggest how to treat it.
Emergency Eye Care and More In Niagara-on-the-Lake or St. Catharines
If your eyes have been giving you some trouble, don't delay visiting the optometrist.
When it comes to eye health, being proactive can mean the difference between healthy eyesight and permanent damage.
At Dr. Hopkins & Associates Optometry in Niagara-on-the-Lake or St. Catharines, we provide patients with emergency eye care, routine eye exams and much more. To learn more about our services and to schedule your routine visit, call Dr. Hopkins & Associates Optometry today!
Should you go to the hospital for an eye infection?
While you can go to the urgent care center for an eye infection, you're better off going to your optometrist for treatment. Generally, the health care professionals in general medical centers aren't as experienced as eye doctors when it comes to handling eye emergencies. Your optometrist can follow your progress to ensure that the infection clears up.
How do eye floaters form?
Eye floaters form through natural changes that occur in the eye. Proteins in the vitreous (gel-like substance in the eye cavity) clump together as you age and form tiny thread-like shapes. When incoming light hits those clumps, it casts a shadow onto your retina, causing you to perceive it as a floater.