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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!

Most people don’t realize that routine eye exams are important, regardless of your age or your physical health.

During a comprehensive eye exam, the doctors at Del Negro & Senft Eye Associates do much more than just determine your prescription for eyeglasses or contact lenses. They also check your eyes for common eye diseases, assess how your eyes work together as a team, and evaluate your eyes as an indicator of your overall health.

Be proactive with your health by scheduling a routine eye exam. Often, eye physicians can detect chronic systemic diseases during an exam – such as high blood pressure and diabetes – before primary care doctors have the opportunity.Additionally, many serious eye conditions show no symptoms until it is too late:

  • Glaucoma, also known as “the silent thief,” causes no pain or noticeable change in vision during the early stages of the disease. It can strike at any age, and if left unchecked can lead to blindness.
  • Macular degeneration (loss of central vision) takes years to develop, but early signs can be discovered during a routine exam and then closely monitored.
  • Diabetic retinopathy is the name given to diabetes’ adverse affects on the blood vessels in the eye. In the United States, diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness among adults.

Staying current with your eye exams will not only help prevent serious eye conditions in the future, but can also reveal health problems that may otherwise go unnoticed. Call Del Negro & Senft Eye Associates today to schedule your routine checkup!