10 Tell Tale Signs That You Need to See an Optometrist

Medical professionals recommend that individuals above 20 years of age get an eye exam every two years. Unfortunately, many people schedule all their other medical examinations and ignore their eyes. We start thinking about eyesight issues when we notice some signs that we may have a vision problem. While the general rule is to get a thorough exam every two years, you need to follow your optometrist’s advice. Every person’s eyesight is unique. You may require an exam every year or after several months, depending on the optometrist’s examination. However, if you develop any of the symptoms below, you need to see an optometrist immediately.

1. Sudden Blurry Vision

If you have experienced blurred vision that comes and goes, you need to schedule an eye exam. You can choose the most convenient time for the exam but do not take too long. However, sudden blurry vision requires immediate attention. You also need a quick exam if you suddenly develop focus problems. Schedule an appointment with your optometrist even if the problem affects one eye.

2. Frequent Squinting

Frequent squinting is a clear indication that you need an eye exam. When you squint, you are trying to reduce the amount of light that is entering your eyes. You are also trying to reduce light scattering. Squinting improves your vision, but is not the solution to your eye problem. Consider getting an immediate exam if the frequent squinting comes with a lazy eye or an eye turn. The condition is fatal in children if it is not treated on time.

3. Frequent Headaches

Frequent headaches are among the top tell tale signs of a vision problem. You may not notice when your vision changes because vision changes gradually. However, frequent headaches may be a warning sign that your vision is changing. You may want to rule out any vision problems before seeking medical treatment for the headaches. A certified Portland Lasik surgeon can correct your vision problem if you seek treatment early. If you have had frequent headaches for a while, get immediate help while you still can to avoid permanent vision loss.

4. Sudden Visual Disturbances

The most common visual disturbances include floaters, vision obstruction, and flashes of light. Any sudden onset of these disturbances is a warning sign that you need to see an optometrist or ophthalmologist immediately. The disturbances often point to a disorder that may lead to vision loss, such as a retinal hole, detachment or tear. The immediate help required in this case should be within 24 hours.

5. Infections

You suffer from eye infections when microorganisms affect any part of the eyeball, including the conjunctiva and cornea. The most common symptoms of eye infections include swelling, redness, itchiness, watery or dry eyes, and blurry vision. Others include eye discharge, sensitivity to light and pain. We have all experienced at least one of these symptoms. The most common reaction is to wait for the symptom to go away. However, a combination of any of these symptoms or one acute symptom requires immediate attention. Do not try to diagnose the problem at home, even if you wear glasses or had an eye exam recently. You may end up on the table of a surgeon if you ignore the symptoms.

6. Double Vision

Double vision can affect one eye (monocular) or both eyes (binocular). The major causes of double vision include abnormalities in the cornea, amblyopia, cataracts in the eye lenses, and dry eye among others. If you have a binocular double vision, you may have a normal vision when you cover either eye. Having a binocular double vision means that your eyes are pointing at different angles and hence they send different images to your brain. The best way to determine the cause of double vision is to visit an optometrist.

7. Difficulties Using Your Computer

We spend hours staring at computer screens and this may lead to eye strain, fatigue, or computer vision syndrome. The degree of definition and contrast of characters on a computer screen is different from the degree on printed material. You continually flex your eye muscles as you try to read the characters on the screen, which leads to eyestrain. You are likely to experience stress or strain after using the computer for a long time. An optometrist can prescribe the right computer eyewear after an eye exam. The exam reveals all the vision problems that led to the computer vision syndrome.

8. Light Sensitivity

Do you have focus problems whenever you step outside or into a room with bright light? Light sensitivity is among the top symptoms of eye infections. If you have experienced regular sensitivity to light in the past, you need to schedule an eye exam as soon as possible. However, if the sensitivity is sudden, visit your optometrist immediately.

9. Night Blindness

The condition comes naturally with age as the eye lenses grow cloudy. However, if you experience this condition at an early age, consider it a sign that you need an eye exam. Individuals that suffer from night blindness can see properly where there is adequate lighting. However, they strain to see objects under dim light or in darkness. Night blindness is an early warning sign of a cataract and hence the need to seek immediate treatment.

10. Gradual Blurry Vision

We have talked about sudden blurry vision and its potential effects. Do not ignore gradual blurry vision. You may experience vision degradation over time without noticing it. However, you need to schedule an immediate eye exam if you must bring a book closer or move it further away to see the characters clearly.


Your vision degrades naturally as you grow older. However, you have a responsibility for your own health, especially if you are between 20 and 40. If you have not had an eye exam in the past two years, you need one immediately. Do not wait for any of the signs outlined above to manifest to get an exam. If you are above 40 years, you may need more exams. Follow the recommendations of your optometrists and honor all your appointments. An early diagnosis of a vision problem can save you from permanent vision loss.

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