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Our eyes are two priceless gifts we open up every day. It goes without saying that taking care of our eyes should be a number one priority and this is becoming increasingly needed considering that we live in the digital age. According to the American Optometric Association, today’s digital technology gives off high-energy, short-wavelength, blue and violet light, which may affect vision and even prematurely age the eyes. This means that especially children of the 21st century, who are growing up knowing nothing other than digital technology, need their parents to monitor how much exposure is transmitted from digital screens to their child, and make sure children take constant, short breaks from staring at a screen. The association also points out that early research has shown that overexposure to blue light could contribute to eye strain and discomfort and may lead to serious conditions, such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which can cause blindness.
Despite these facts, many people skip their eye examinations and rarely visit the eye doctor even when chronic problems arise. Ideally, you should have your eyes checked up at least once a year. This should increase as you age since you become more at risk for other ailments other than weakening vision. Too many people believe that poor vision is the only valid reason to visit their eye doctor, but this is not the case at all. Regular eye checkups can save your eyes from ailments such as eye cataracts and others. A lot can change in your eyes from year to year, especially as you reach 50 years of age.
The signs it’s time for a visit are there, you just have to ‘see’ them. So, here to help you, we’ll tell you about these signs, but it’s up to you to call your practicing doctor and set an appointment with them to ensure your eyes are in top health.
Suffering from constant headaches is one of the more common signs that a visit is in order. An eye examination may be able to produce results of what is causing you these headaches. Many times, headaches may be due to external factors such as working under poor lighting, or the contrary, working from a too brightly lit computer screen. Yet, headaches could also be caused by astigmatism, which causes blurry vision, long-sightedness, or much more serious issues such as glaucoma, which is pressure being caused within the eyeball, which if left untreated can cause gradual blindness.
Eye infections can escalate very quickly, but a visit to your doctor can also cure an infection quickly because infections don’t usually go away by themselves. If you feel something is in your eye, and/or you’re getting a discharge, and if your eyes are feeling sensitive towards light or glare, you could have contracted an infection.
Flashes of light or eye-floaters
Most people have experienced at least one of these two symptoms. Floaters are those dark spots that appear in your vision. Other times, people experience flashes of light, when there’s no light actually present. Eye floaters usually increase as we age. Eye-floaters by themselves are typically not dangerous but if you have a sudden increase of them, mixed with flashing lights or a shadow in your peripheral vision that could be a sign of something more harmful, which is a detached retina. This is definitely an emergency that needs medical attention. If left untreated, it could cause blindness.
If your eyes are bothering you, but there’s nothing visibly wrong with them, it doesn’t mean there’s no problem. There are many irritating things like, dry-eye, redness, and itchiness that we’re willing to put up with instead of going for an eye check-up. Many of these symptoms can be easily cured, like using drops for redness or dry eye. Other things might not be as simple, such as a scratched cornea, or even an injury that you passed as something small. Extremely cold climates, like in Canada, where you also have a heated internal environment, has its negative effect on the eyes as well, often causing dryness, scratchy or burning eyes and redness among other ailments. There’s no reason to ignore small symptoms that could complicate into big problems when you can visit a doctor. In Canada, for example, optometrists are of the highest caliber. People are always eager to visit their optometrist in Vancouver to give a thorough check-up and put their minds at ease, knowing that they have the reliability and professionalism required to give them the right advice.
If you suffer from diabetes, or it runs in the family, you should know that high blood sugar weakens vision. Keeping your eyes in check is as important as keeping your blood sugar level in check. An eye doctor could be the first to discover that you have diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, a hormone imbalance or even a brain tumor. That’s because the early warning signs of all these health issues can be revealed first in your eyes.
Difficulty to adjust between daytime and nighttime is another indication that it’s time for a checkup. You will probably notice yourself squinting more, and while driving at night, car tail lights will be blurry to you, as well as signs. If you’re having trouble reading the sign then you know that’s another sign! When your vision is blurry, you put more strain on your eyes to try and see more clearly, and this strain is actually harming your eyes.
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Difficulty to focus
Many eye conditions first manifest as difficulty focusing on a specific object in your field of vision or experience blurriness when you focus on a single object. Some individuals experience inconsistent focus issues. For example, you may only have trouble focusing within a certain level of light, or the problem may move from one eye to the other. Inability to visually focus can also be linked to specific tasks such as reading small print or looking at a digital device screen.
When was your last checkup?
If you can’t answer that question then the best thing you can do for your eyes is schedule an appointment now. You don’t have to experience all the signs that have been mentioned to visit your eye doctor earlier rather than later. Don’t put off routine tests which can save your eyes from potential future damage. If you haven’t had any type of serious injury to your eyes or health matter that has affected them, then weaker vision or other potential ailments can grow gradually. That’s why routine checkups are very important, so don’t ignore them.