A headache is one of most common symptoms but also the most ignored and difficult to manage if not diagnosed in time, says Dr Vrunda More-Patil.
It is unfortunate that unless it is too late, one doesn't visit an ophthalmologist.
If you really care for your vision, here are some signs you shouldn’t ignore.
1. Red eyes
Pink or red eyes are one of the most common symptoms of an eye infection.
From allergic to infectious cause, from trauma to an itch, anything and everything can cause redness of eye/s, most importantly all of them need a different treatment.
Over the counter drugs should be strictly avoided as they, in some cases, may really worsen the condition than making it any better.
2. Sudden and progressive blurring of vision for distance
If you find it difficult to look clearly at distant objects, you might suffer from blurred vision.
Most typical reasons for this are nearsightedness (myopia) and farsightedness (hyperopia).
You can't fix this problem without the help of your ophthalmologist.
Sudden onset blurring of vision needs detailed evaluation as it may need an early intervention for stalling the progression of the cause.
Reasons for this symptom may range from just change in spectacle power to optic nerve disorders to complications related to systemic hypertension and diabetes mellitus.
3. Large black spot/s in front of the eyes
This is crucial for people suffering from myopia (high negative powdered glasses).
Although some black spots in front of the eyes may be normal in such individuals, a sudden increase in the number or size of black spots with or without a black curtain over a part of the visual field can be an early sign of a sight threatening complication called retinal detachment.
This could be related to the severe stretching of retina in these patients, causing small holes or weak spots called as lattice degeneration.
Early diagnosis and treatment is of utmost importance to treat the condition.
4. Constant headache
A headache is one of most common symptoms but also the most ignored and difficult to manage if not diagnosed in time.
Out of a long list of causes for headache, strain to the eyes could be a contributing factor.
Again, from not so scary changes in glasses to scary brain lesions, it could be anything.
5. Reduced vision for near
If you are above 40, this maybe a normal sign of aging, and presbyopic glasses for reading can save your day.
But in young adults or older population, sudden reduction in near vision could signify affection of the centre of the visual field.
This could be due to various causes, hence seeing your eye doctor immediately is imperative.
6. You see two instead of one
When your eyes start to mess with your head and you begin to see objects in double in front of your eyes, do not ignore it.
7. Intolerance to bright light with pain in the eyes
Anything from a scratch on the surface to an inflammation in the eye, to a raised eye pressure can cause this symptom.
This is a sign of damage to the surface or the inside of the eye and should not be ignored at all.
An urgent visit to an eye doctor is warranted.
8. Chemicals/foreign body in the eye
In case a domestic or factory chemical splashes into the eyes, it is just not enough to splash tap water and rinse the eye.
You will need to see an eye doctor immediately to completely wash off the chemical or its traces, if there are any, and administer appropriate treatment.
This is important to avoid any permanent damage to the eyes.
If you are constantly feeling something grainy in the eye, which does not resolve by itself or worsens over time, you may have a small particle of metal or other matter blown in by the dust and wind.
This needs urgent attention and will have to be removed by an eye doctor.
After you are hit in the eye, you may feel the panda eyes, with the swelling and all, will resolve on its own.
But it is important to meet your ophthalmologist to confirm that the injury is temporary and take appropriate medication so that it does not affect your vision.
10. Flashes of light
If you experience any flashes of light in your field of vision, it could be an attack of migraine or it may signify something ominous in your eye.
The eye being a very sensitive and important sense organ, it is imperative for us to take good care of it.
If you notice any of the above signs or symptoms, fix up an appointment and get your eyes checked immediately.
Dr Vrunda More-Patil is assistant professor, ophthalmology, K J Somaiya Hospital, Mumbai.