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conjunctivitis

When an eye issue arises, it is usually seen as a minor disturbance in your daily routine – an annoyance that you choose deal with until it magically disappears. Work, home, and family responsibilities take precedence – or so you think. But changes in your vision that appear to be “no big deal” can actually be signs of a bigger problem that, if left untreated, can lead to severe consequences.

Read on to learn 5 instances when you should definitely call your eye doctor, even if you think you may not have the time…

  1. Floaters and Flashes

    Floaters and flashes are often the first signs of retinal detachment. While they do not necessarily mean that there is a problem, floaters and flashes should NOT be ignored. Seeing more floaters than usual, particularly if you notice the sudden appearance of many small dark dots, is a symptom of retinal detachment.

    The below symptoms constitute a MEDICAL EMERGENCY:

    • Brief flashes or sparks of light at the edge of your vision.
    • A shadow (sometimes described as a “curtain”) across a portion of your vision that doesn’t go away.
    • Any new or sudden loss of a portion of your vision.

  2. Sudden Loss of Vision or Loss of Peripheral Vision (also known as Tunnel Vision)– This type of visual loss could be a sign or symptom of Glaucoma, Retinal Detachment, Retinal Degeneration, Diabetic Retinopathy, or serious conditions that affect the brain such as a tumor or stroke.
  3. Pain – Surface and interior eye pain can both signal a number of conditions. It can point to Bacterial Keratitis, Conjunctivitis, Corneal Abrasion, Corneal Laceration, Corneal Ulcer, Fungal Keratitis, and Uveitis as well as other conditions not listed. Seek out your eye doctor to alleviate discomfort and avoid possible complications.
  4. Double Vision– Double vision can be a sign of palsy, diabetic changes, brain tumor, brain aneurysm, or stroke.
  5. Extreme Sensitivity to Light– This condition may be associated with a Chalazion, Corneal Abrasion, Corneal Laceration, Corneal Ulcer, Eye Allergies, Uveitis, and Dry Eye among other conditions. There are a number of treatment options to provide relief.

Remember, a visit to the doctor as soon as symptoms present themselves can prevent severe eye problems in the future!

Spring is finally here! Yes, the buds on the trees are bursting with beauty and fragrance, the bright daffodils are opening up, and patches of color are evident as you drive around town. Like most, the mild weather moves you to open up your windows to let the fresh air in, and maybe even attempt spring cleaning or that landscaping project you had been putting off. But with the renewal of life brought by spring comes another inevitable side effect of the season: allergies.

Airborne allergens such as house dust, animal dander, and mold can cause ocular allergies at any time of the year- but when spring rolls around plant pollen seems to be everywhere, constantly bombarding the eyes and causing everyone to experience allergic reactions.

Seasonal allergic conjunctivitis, or hay fever, is the most common allergic eye problem.

Take preventative measures: make every effort to avoid allergens. An allergist can help determine what you are allergic to so you can stay away. Completely avoiding outdoor pollen may be impossible, but remaining indoors in the morning when the pollen levels are highest may help control symptoms. If you are allergic to house dust, open windows and keep household filters clean.

What You Can Do To Alleviate Your Discomfort:

  • Cool compresses decrease swelling and itching.
  • Artificial tears dilute the allergens and form a protective barrier over the surface of the eye.
  • Various antihistamine and decongestant drops and sprays can soothe irritated eyes and nose.
  • Rubbing the eyes makes symptoms worse and should be avoided.

If seasonal allergic conjunctivitis is a problem, make an appointment with one of our doctors – we will ensure symptoms are not being caused by a more serious problem before prescribing one of the many new, safe, and effective anti-allergy drops.