Of all our senses I think most people would agree that vision is the one we would least like to be without. When you ask people the classic dilemma of whether they would rather be deaf or blind, at least 80% will say deaf. Without vision our lives would be very different from what they are right now. Imagine not being able to drive, work or get around without assistance. Our whole independence would be under threat and we would have to learn a whole new way of life. Having regular eye tests is one way of ensuring that you maintain your vision, as does understand what symptoms you must never ignore. Although there are exceptions and these symptoms do not 100% mean you will go blind, they potentially could be a sign of an impending visual threat. The following lists the visual symptoms you should never ignore:
- Flashing lights: If you notice flashes of light in your vision this could indicate a retinal tear or retinal detachment, which if left untreated could lead to blindness. Although flashing lights can also relate to some innocuous physiological changes within your eye, it is best not to take the risk.
- Floaters: About one third of the population have floaters to some degree and they are more prevalent if you are short sighted. Floaters that you already have are not of any concern but you should always seek medical advice if you ever notice any new floaters. Like flashing lights, they can relate to either a retinal detachment or a normal physiological change within the eye. When flashes and floaters occur at the same time, there is an even great chance that you are having a retinal detachment.
- Distorted vision: The easiest way to describe distorted vision is if you look at something with a straight edge, such as a door frame, it will look wavy or curved. This symptom could signify that you have macular degeneration which needs to be seen as soon as possible by an Optometrist. The quicker you are seen the more likely is the chance that something could be done about it.
- Blurred vision: If you notice any sudden reduction in vision, then you should immediately consult with an Optometrist. Sudden blurred vision could refer to a whole range of eye health problems. Do not assume that it is just your glasses that need changing and do nothing about it. Acting quick improves the chances of successful treatment.
- Blind spots: If you ever notice a blind spot in your vision you must seek medical advice immediately. This could refer to a problem with your eye or possibly something going on in your brain.
Whilst every one of these symptoms may turn out to be a false alarm it is not worth taking the risk of leaving it to chance. An Optometrist will be able to fully assess the health of your eyes and decide what course of action to take next. Treatment saver is a website that allows you to learn about everything from eye health to laser eye surgery.