SAVE YOUR VISION: When you should contact your eye doctor
Though routine eye checkups are essential to protect your vision, sometimes it’s important to contact your eye doctor before your next scheduled eye exam.
As we get older, it’s normal to experience changes to our vision like needing more light to read, and taking longer to adjust to changes in light levels. But some changes in vision and eye symptoms could be a sign of eye disease, such as glaucoma or macular degeneration, or a serious condition such as a detached retina.
TELL YOUR EYE DOCTOR if you experience any of these symptoms:
- Blurred vision
- Eyes that itch or burn
- A few black spots or “floaters”
- Double vision, especially after extensive use of your eyes
- Tearing or watering eyes
- Redness or swelling of your eye or eyelid
- Trouble doing usual tasks such as reading, watching television, recognizing faces etc.
- Falling, or bumping into or tripping over things
These symptoms generally don’t indicate an emergency condition, but may require treatment or a new eyeglass prescription.
SEEK URGENT CARE if you experience any of these symptoms that could indicate a severe problem:
- Severe, sudden eye pain
- Severe, sudden double vision
- Light flashes or sudden multiple floating black spots
- Sudden onset (within a day or two, or less) of halos or rainbows surrounding lights
- One or both eyes suddenly turning bright red
- Seeing a “curtain coming down or in from the side” over one eye
- Sensing a “cup filling up with ink” in one eye
If you experience any of these potentially urgent conditions, call your eye doctor immediately. If you cannot get through to him or her, seek immediate medical care.
REMEMBER: Knowing what to do when you experience different symptoms that affect your eyesight can make the difference between having healthy eyes, saving your vision, experiencing some vision loss or becoming completely blind.
When in doubt…..check it out! Call your eye doctor and discuss it.
Many serious eye diseases such as glaucoma develop slowly without early symptoms. Even if you aren’t aware of problems with your eyesight, you should routinely get a comprehensive dilated eye exam, examination of the front of your eye, and an eye pressure check, just as you would schedule an annual physical checkup with your primary care physician.
Find out how often you should get an eye exam at Lighthouse Guild, depending upon your age and whether you have risk factors for eye disease.
Lighthouse Guild’s full service Optometric and Low Vision Clinic: 212-769-6313
ColumbiaDoctors Ophthalmology’s Robert Burch Family Eye Center: 212-305-9535
Both conveniently located at 15 West 65th Street, New York, NY 10023