When most people think of vision loss, they usually perceive it as sudden and unexpected. However, eyesight generally deteriorates more gradually than suddenly. In fact, most adults don’t notice any problems with their eyesight until there’s a nuisance complaint such as irritation. Here are six warning signs to keep an eye on in order to delay or eliminate the onset of vision loss.
1. Fluctuating Vision Clarity
If you notice your vision fluctuating between fine and blurry, it could mean that you have uncontrolled high blood pressure or type 2 Diabetes. If these two chronic conditions go unchecked, they can damage the fine blood vessels of the retina that can lead to vision damage or worse, vision loss. Regular eye exams are crucial for those suffering from the aforementioned conditions in order to avoid excessive eye damage.
2. An Inexplicable Traffic Accident
Although traffic accidents have a vast array of causes, one very prevalent vision related cause is Glaucoma. A loss of peripheral vision is a tell tale warning sign that you might have Glaucoma. A recent study revealed that Glaucoma patients who were paired with a driving instructor required six times as many interventions than the age-matched control group. Most Glaucoma is discovered during routine eye exams since the loss of peripheral vision is so gradual that you wont notice it.
3. There is a Confusing Dark Patch in the Center of Your Vision
If one is experiencing a lasting dark patch in the center of their vision, it could be a sign that they are experiencing age-related macular degeneration. According to the American Optometric Association, age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss in people over 50. People with macular degeneration may have trouble doing close work such as reading and sewing. You may also notice the individual bobbing their head as they try to see around the dark patch.
4. An Odd Looking Eyelid
The cause of this obscure looking eyelid could be skin cancer. The eyelid, according to optometrists, is one of the most common sights for squamous cell and basal cell carcinomas. Skin cancer of the eyelid can lead to serious vision impairment or loss. It’s important to look for any abnormalities such as a bump on the eyelid, excessive bleeding or irritation that persists for an excessive amount of time.
5. Vision With a Brownish Tint
Vision that is plagued with a slight brownish tint could be an early sign of Cataracts. Cataracts are extremely common. According to the National Eye Institute, by age 80 more than half of all Americans will either have Cataracts or had surgery to fix the debilitating condition. It’s important to take note of any color distortion or cloudy vision, as these are both common signs of Cataracts.
6. Flurries of “Flashes and Floaters”
If you suddenly experience an increased number of little spots right before your eyes, it could be a sign of impending retinal attachment. While this is generally a sudden event that requires immediate care, sometimes people experience a period of increasing flurries before the retina fully tears. The most important warning signs to look out for are increased frequency and severity. If you notice these symptoms it’s integral that you see an optometrist immediately.
Although you now know these six helpful warning signs, there’s no reason to wait until they happen in order to see your optometrist. Staying up-to-date with your routine check-ups is the best way to avoid vision impairment and enjoy the world as it’s supposed to look!