When was the last time you had your eyes checked? Chances are, you have not done so in a while. It is fairly uncommon for people to put off having an eye exam. You might think that the lack of any prominent pain means your eyes are fine, right? Wrong.
In the Philippines, approximately 500,000 Filipinos are visually impaired according to blind.org.ph, a non-profit organization that studies blindness statistics in the Philippines. On the other hand, there are more than 285 million people who are visually impaired in the world, reports World Health Organization (WHO).
According to WHO, about 80% of these cases could have been avoided if they had gotten their eyes checked or worn prescription eyewear in the Philippines, so do not take any eye symptom likely. In this infographic, we share with you several symptoms you should never ignore.
1. Flashing lights, floaters, or gray shadows
Have you experienced seeing blobs of color? Like cobwebby squiggles or gnat-like that appears in your field of vision? The sudden onset of floaters, usually accompanied by flashes of light, means it is time to visit your ophthalmologist.
What you are experiencing could be caused by something called posterior vitreous detachment (PVD). Or, it could be a retinal tear.
2. Red, teary eyes
Having red, teary eyes can easily be mistaken for fatigue or contact lenses irritation. Or it could also be Keratitis, which is a corneal infection that causes redness, pain, inflammation, discharge, and other kinds of eye symptoms.
Catching Keratitis at its early stages can easily be cured. But, if you ignore it for too long, it could lead to vision loss.
3. Sudden eyelid droop
If your eyelid starts to feel heavy for no apparent reason, it could be due to an aneurysm. Aneurysms are very dangerous, as it is a bulging weak area in a brain artery. If it ruptures, it could cause brain damage or even death.
Apart from droopy eyelids, you should also check if your pupils, those little dots in the center of your eyes are the same size. Having unequal pupils could also be a strong indication of aneurysm.
4. Eyeball pain
Experiencing a sharp, sudden pain in your eyeball warrants a visit to an ophthalmologist or the nearest eyewear specialist.
This painful sensation could be caused by Glaucoma, a build-up of pressure around your eyes, damaging optic nerves. Eye pressure also plays a role in Glaucoma patients.
To avoid having Glaucoma, make sure to visit an eye care specialist regularly. You should also look into your family’s eye health history because Glaucoma tends to run in the family.
5. Hazy and blurred vision
A hazy and blurry vision does not always mean you need to start wearing glasses. Sometimes, it could be a symptom of something more serious like a cloth that is obstructing the circulation in your brain. It could also be an indication of retina diseases or a stroke.
6. Eye discharge or crusty eyes
If you notice any change in color or consistency of your eye discharge, call the doctor right away. Experiencing these kinds of symptom could suggest you have an eye infection like conjunctivitis or pink eye. When you have pink eye, you usually produce a green or yellowish discharge.
Pink eye is contagious. So, to prevent acquiring conjunctivitis, always wash your hands and avoid touching your eyes with your hands. You should also change your pillowcases often and do not share towels, washcloths, or other personal eye cosmetics and eye care products with others.
7. Corneal abrasion
Having a corneal abrasion can be very uncomfortable. It can also cause light sensitivity and watery eyes.
Most abrasions are not too serious. Superficial scratches can heal as fast as 24 hours. But, if you have a deep laceration, like having a Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK) eye correction laser surgery, the healing process could take several days.
Aside from surgery, abrasions can be quite difficult to tell if it’s minor or a deep cut. So, it is best to visit an eye doctor if you feel any pain.
8. Eye discomfort from wearing contact lenses
If it is not your first time wearing contact lenses and you suddenly experience discomfort from wearing your lenses, call the doctor right away.
Improper sanitization or eyewear care, especially for contact lenses wearer could lead to an eye infection or even corneal ulcer.
At the end of the day, remember that you only have one pair of eyes, so it’s important to take good care of them. The health of your eyes can greatly determine the path you take in life.
So, if you feel any of these symptoms, don’t ignore. Call the doctor right away or any eyewear specialist in the Philippines like Vision Express who offers a free vision check. As they say, prevention is better than cure!