Do you know when an eye problem requires prompt attention? Some eye issues can be scary, so if you or a loved one experiences any of the following symptoms, I urge you to act quickly. Saving your vision might be at stake.

eyechart over eye

1) A sudden decrease in vision in one eye…

Retinal problems, including a macular hole, a retinal

detachment, or an abnormality in the optic nerve are the most common cause. Women are at higher risk than men, and risk increases with age.

2) A gradual loss of central vision or distortions when looking at straight lines…

Central vision loss is a common symptom of Macular Degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in older Americans. I recommend that seniors monitor their eyes for changes daily with an Amsler Grid. Pick up your FREE Amsler Grid at any of The Eye Associates locations.

 3) Flashes, a shower of floaters in the eye, or a dark curtain across your field of vision…

Most floaters are benign, but if you experience a sudden onset, it could indicate a retinal problem. A retinal tear or detachment needs to be treated immediately. If left untreated, permanent vision loss could occur.

4) Loss of peripheral vision….

Loss of peripheral vision happens so slowly that it often goes unnoticed, but it could indicate that you have glaucoma. Because there are usually no glaring symptoms signaling the presence of glaucoma, I advise everyone to have a yearly comprehensive eye exam in order to catch it in the early stages. Any vision loss from glaucoma cannot be regained, but with medication and/or surgery, it is possible to halt further loss.

 5) A sudden onset of eye pain, halos around lights, nausea, vomiting, and redness…

This may signal an acute attack of Narrow Angle Glaucoma. If you do not receive immediate treatment, this condition can permanently damage your optic nerve, causing loss of vision. I sometimes suggest a preventive laser treatment for patients with ‘narrow’ angles to prevent them from suffering one of these painful attacks.

6) Double vision or ‘ghost like’ images…

Double vision can be caused by a variety of eye and general health conditions, including giant-cell arteritis (or temporal arteritis), cataracts, migraine headaches, brain tumors, strokes or aneurysms. Get help promptly so the underlying cause can be determined and treated.

 Sometimes, it’s not an emergency…

Cloudy vision, or feeling like a film is over your eyes….

I would suspect cataracts. During a comprehensive eye exam, I can determine whether cataracts are causing these vision problems. Luckily cataract surgery is quite commonplace these days and we can return good vision to you quickly and safely.

Saving sight is The Eye Associates’ most important mission. Please call 1-866-865-2020 if you or someone you know needs immediate care. Even after business hours, The Eye Associates has a doctor on-call to take care of emergencies.