It's a smart practice to schedule annual checkups with your optometrist. Doing so can not only help to catch small changes in your vision that could precipitate the need for new glasses, but may also show signs of any health issues you might have but of which you're unaware. Just as you don't need to wait for your annual medical checkup with your family doctor if you develop troubling symptoms, it's important to visit your optometrist well in advance of your yearly appointment if you've noticed vision-related issues. Here are three indicators that it's time to visit this health professional right away.
Wide Blood Vessels
While it's common for your eyes to appear bloodshot if you've had a few too many drinks or you're behind on your sleep, it's a serious concern if you can clearly see that your ocular blood vessels are consistently wider than usual. If you notice this issue upon looking in the mirror or your spouse or partner alerts you to it, make an appointment to see your optometrist right away. Widened blood vessels can serve as an early sign of serious issues such as dementia. Even if the widening is the result of something less serious, it's important to have your optometrist investigate and explain what's going on.
Inflammation of your eye, known as uveitis, is a difficult issue to ignore. You might suddenly notice that your eyes are extremely sore, they might appear red or or you might find yourself highly sensitive to light. Uveitis can occur for a variety of reasons, including being hit in the eye while playing sports. A more serious concern, however, is that uveitis often arises as a result of an autoimmune disorder. This condition is more prevalent among smokers, so if you notice any of the above symptoms, it's beneficial to call your optometrist's office and arrange an appointment as soon as you can.
A detached retina is a serious eye issue that relies on rapid medical intervention -- if left untreated, there's a chance you can lose vision in the affected eye. Symptoms of a detached retina can include seeing inexplicable light flashes, shadows in your vision and floating objects that impede your vision. It's important to note that despite the severity of this issue, you won't likely be experiencing pain. As such, don't consider the lack of pain as a sign nothing is wrong -- make sure to see the optometrist like one from Baldwin Optical & Hearing Aid Co. right away.