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For every waking moment, your eyes work nonstop, converting light and data into images your brain can understand. Not unlike other areas of the body, the delicate structures that make up your eyes can wear out or suffer injury. And when eye problems develop, being able to spot a serious issue early on can go a long way towards preserving your vision for years to come. Read on as a Lake Stevens, WA optometrist lists four signs of serious eye problems to watch for and why early detection is important.
As many as 93 million Americans are at risk of vision loss, according to CDC data, and only half visit their eye doctor for regular checkups. While symptoms like occasional dry eyes or eye fatigue may not warrant cause for concern, certain other symptoms can actually be warning signs of a more serious eye condition. And as with other serious health problems, getting treatment early on not only prevents further damage but can possibly eliminate the problem altogether.
1 – Decrease in Vision in One Eye
Vision loss in one eye can happen as a result of the aging process. It can happen suddenly or gradually and tends to be common in people 65 years old and older. These may be early warning signs of a more serious eye condition, such as glaucoma or macular degeneration.
2 – Eye Discomfort
Your eyes contain drainage canals, which can become blocked and cause pressure. If you experience a sudden onset of eye discomfort that causes pain, redness, nausea, or vomiting, this may be a sign of narrow-angle glaucoma. This condition usually develops rapidly and requires immediate medical attention.
3 – Floaters, Shadows, or Flashing Lights
The back of your eye houses a nerve layer that’s attached to your retina. This layer is responsible for sending images to the brain. Seeing floaters, shadows, or flashing lights may be a sign that your retina is detaching or lifting away from the nerve layer. This condition is called retinal detachment, which is very serious and requires prompt medical attention.
4 – Loss of Central Vision
If you see distorted images or a gradual loss of central vision when looking at straight lines, this can be a warning sign of macular degeneration. While this is not an emergency, when left untreated, further vision loss is likely.
If you have more questions or wish to schedule an eye exam, feel free to call our Lake Stevens, WA optometry office today.