The eyes are vibrant organs that provide us with visual perception to see the world around us. Unfortunately, these structures are vulnerable to various lesions and problems. Regular or periodic eye examinations are a crucial part of preventive health care. Quite often, eye problems does not present with obvious symptoms. This makes it challenging to know a problem exists. Comprehensive eye exam by an eye doctor is an important part of caring for your eyes, vision, and overall all health. If you develop any of the signs that we will cover below, you might need a comprehensive eye examination.
10 signs that require a comprehensive eye examination
1. Red eyes
If you develop red or pink eye, it may be a sign of an eye infection. However, trauma and allergy can also cause red eyes. While you may be tempted to apply some over-the-counter eye drops or visiting GPs, this could lead to serious complications especially accompanied by eye pain, light sensitivity, swelling, or blurry vision.
Instead, visit an ophthalmologist, who will conduct a comprehensive eye examination to determine the cause of your red eyes and prescribe appropriate treatment.
2. The progressive blurring of vision
Blurred vision is the main symptom of nearsightedness and farsightedness. While some of the conditions can be solved with glasses, there are some conditions which just might need a closer look by the ophthalmologist. Some of the symptoms which should raise alarm could be sudden blurring of vision, glasses is not sufficient to correct vision, frequent change in power of glasses and unsure of underlying co-morbidities’ relations to vision loss.
Diabetes, high blood pressure and high serum cholesterol may contribute to some form of vision loss. Hence, progressive blurring of vision is a sign that you may require a comprehensive eye examination.
3. Seeing Spots
Seeing spots in your vision could be normal but sometimes they can be a cause for concern. When the layer at the posterior portion of your eye called retina tears, bleeds or detaches, little blobs or flashes of lights may appear in your vision field. Blacks spots or blind spots can also be a sign of retinal diseases such as age related macular degeneration or diabetic retinopathy. A comprehensive eye exam would be able pick up the root cause and enable ophthalmologists to offer solutions for your eye problem.
Note: A detached retina is considered a medical emergency because of the risk of permanent vision loss. If you experience the signs above, head to an ophthalmologist immediately. Do check out the article on retinal detachment for more information.
4. Constant headache
Everyone experiences headaches from time to time. However, this could be a sign of a condition known as computer vision syndrome or digital eye strain or maybe it’s something more serious, like eye alignment. If someone has been getting some headaches, a comprehensive eye exam is absolutely a great first step in trying to figure out what’s causing the constant headaches.
5. Reduced reading vision
People above the age of 40 years often develop presbyopia, where reading a paper becomes challenging. Quite often vision can be corrected with prescription glasses. However, scheduling a comprehensive eye exam might be a good idea at this age especially if you have co-morbidities such as diabetes, high cholesterol, and/or high blood pressure or if you have not done one before this.
6. Double vision
When you see double of a single object, this condition is called diplopia, or double vision. Double and blurred vision may be conceived as same, but they are not.
A Comprehensive eye exam is probably necessary to determine the root cause for double vision. This comprehensive eye examination would include medical history, visual acuity test, eye motility, and evaluation for ocular misalignment.
7. Sensitivity to light
When exposed to bright light, symptoms of itching, burning, wincing and squinting may be present as signs or symptoms or sensitivity to light. Excessive tear production is another symptom for sensitivity to light. Sensitivity to light may be temporary, or it can be a permanent symptom of underlying eye conditions. The underlying reasons are diverse. The only way to treat sensitivity to light is to get to the root of the problem with a comprehensive eye exam.
8. Flashes of light
Flashes of light are spots of light that appears in your visual field. Quite often, flashes of lights are described as seeing "shooting stars" or "lightning streaks". Flashes of light commonly appears alongside with migraines, however, it could signal that something is seriously wrong with your eyes.
If you suddenly start seeing repeated flashes of light with or without cloudy floaters and vision changes, seek medical attention from an ophthalmologist immediately as this could be a serious problem.
A torn or detached retina may cause you to suddenly see new floaters and flashes. Retinal detachment is a serious condition that need to be quickly treated by your ophthalmologist to prevent significant vision loss and blindness. Nonetheless, a comprehensive eye examination can help to determine the cause of flashes of light regardless the seriousness of the issue.
Getting an eye examination after developing any of the signs that we listed above is important to prevent long-term complications and optimize your vision.
We hope that this article managed to shed some light on the importance of getting a regular eye examination, especially when you develop visions issues.