Many serious eye conditions have almost no early warning signs, making regular, thorough eye care exams essential.
Regular eye care exams is especially important if you are over 40, since your risk of developing a number of eye and vision problems increases as you age.
However, there are some signals that your eyes, and your vision, might be in serious danger. If you notice any of the following symptoms, it’s best to see us, even between eye exams. These symptoms may be the early warning signs of a more significant underlying problem that could affect your eye health.
- Frequently seeing floaters and flashes. Most people see spots or specks float across their field of vision from time to time. Usually, these are merely the shadows of particles floating in your aqueous humor, the fluid that fills the inside of your eye. While they may be annoying or distracting, these floaters won’t harm your vision and are a natural part of your eye’s aging process. However, if you begin to see more floaters than normal, or if you see them accompanied by bright, flashing lights, schedule an appointment with us immediately. These could be signs of a tear in your retina. Left untreated, the retina could detach, resulting in serious loss of vision. The sooner you see your eye doctor for a thorough exam, the more likely you are to have a successful treatment.
- Vision that fluctuates. Many people see better out of one eye than the other, or consistently see better at certain times of the day than others. If you notice that you have frequent, unexplained changes in how clearly you can see, however, it could be a sign of either diabetes or hypertension. Over time, both of these chronic conditions can damage the small blood vessels in the retina, which is the light-sensitive layer of cells at the back of your eye. Left untreated, this damage can lead to scarring, a detached retina, and, sometimes, permanent vision loss. So, if you notice that you can read your newspaper just fine one day, struggle with blurry vision the next day, and return to your normal vision a few hours later, it’s time to protect your sight. You only get one set of eyes – practice eye care and schedule an exam.
- Seeing distorted images. Most people experience blurry vision as they age, but if you are seeing distinctly distorted images, contact us for an appointment. Some examples of distorted images that you should look out for include straight lines that appear wavy, colors that appear faded or dim, and a small blurred or dark spot in the center of your vision. All of these distortions are early signs of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a disease that affects the macula, which is the part of the retina responsible for your central vision. Left untreated, over time, the disease will cause a blind spot in the middle of your field of vision.
- Loss of your peripheral vision. If you notice that your peripheral vision has deteriorated, or even disappeared altogether, resulting in tunnel vision, schedule an eye exam right away, as this could be an early sign of glaucoma. Glaucoma refers to a group of related eye disorders that all affect the optic nerve, which can lead to irreparable vision loss. Because glaucoma typically has no early signs or symptoms, about half of Americans with the disorder don’t know they have it. With early treatment, the progression of glaucoma can be stalled, saving your vision.
Of course, as with all areas of your health, prevention is the best medicine. Regular eye exams at our Greenville office will keep your eyes healthy and preserve your vision, even as you age. At Carolina Cornea, we’re committed to helping you achieve the best vision of your life, whether through preventative measures and regular eye care or more corrective procedures, including LASIK eye surgery, cataract surgery, and cornea surgery. Contact us today to find out how we can help you.