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9 Signs You Need to See an Optometrist

9 signs you need to see an optometrist

Are you in the habit of scheduling regular visits to the eye doctor? Chances are the number of physical check-ups and dentist appointments you’ve attended in the past 10 years has far exceeded your number of trips to the optometrist. For whatever reason, people seem to de-value the necessity of optical health.

For many, a trip to the optometrist is only warranted when vision is noticeably deteriorating or it’s time for a new set of prescription glasses or contacts. People are less likely to proactively schedule an appointment with their optometrist unless they feel something is wrong. But in reality, many conditions of the eye will not give you feedback in the form of symptoms the average person can recognize. Many symptoms will be brushed off or ignored, and as a result, the door is left open for more serious eye issues down the road.

In this article, we hope to shed some light on the importance of making regular trips to the eye doctor. Here are 9 signs you need to see an optometrist:


1. It’s tough to see at night.

red stairs in the dark

Naturally – unlike cats and owls, humans have a difficult time seeing at night. As we age, this difficulty is made worse. But if you start noticing your vision getting worse in the dark, that could be a sign of a more serious issue.

If you feel extra strain at night, or seeing is just more difficult than normal, that could be a sign of cataracts or macular degeneration. By visiting an eye doctor, you can receive needed treatment for these issues and slow their progression while protecting your vision in the long run.


2. Headaches are getting frequent.

Headaches are one of the most frequent indicators our body will give us that something is wrong. There are a whole range of causes of headaches, from diet to posture to stress or hydration. While you may not expect it, headaches can also be an indication that something is wrong with your eyesight.

If you’re getting frequent headaches, especially if the pain is coming from your temples or behind your eyes, it could be a sign of glaucoma, eye strain, or an infection. Either way, get to your optometrist right away.


3. Your eyes are playing tricks on you.

When something is wrong with our eyesight, our eyes have a way of playing tricks on us. One of the more common tricks is double vision. Double vision can mean many things, including a stroke, injury, or illness. But double vision is just one visual distortion to watch for.

If you notice waves or zig-zag lines in your field of vision, that could be an early sign of macular degeneration. If you notice little halos around lights, that could mean cataracts.

If your eyes have started playing tricks on you, see your optometrist immediately.


4. Things are looking blurry.

blurry view of person standing

If your vision is getting blurry, that could mean several things. Your eyes are having difficulty focusing. Blurriness for a couple seconds or so is normal, and your vision will slowly get blurry as you age, but if the blurriness persists or comes suddenly, it’s time to book an eye appointment – especially if the blurriness is only noticeable in one eye.


5. Floaters, spots, or flashes in your field of vision.

Floaters are little circles, lines, or dots that seemingly “float” across your field of vision. This visual distortion is caused not by something stuck on the outside of your eye, but shadows cast by fibers in your eye fluids. The same is true with flashing lights.

Although it looks like you can remove this floating debris, you cannot. Instead of trying to rub, scratch, or rinse away these floaters, contact your optometrist and see if there’s something more serious happening.


6. Light sensitivity is getting worse.

It’s normal for our eyes to take their time adjusting the light, especially if we’re emerging outside on a bright day for the first time in a while. But if you notice this sensitivity getting worse, meaning it takes longer to adjust or you’re feeling discomfort in your eyes, that could be a sign of cataracts, a corneal abrasion, or an infection.


7. Screens are causing problems.

person using phone and computer

These days, the majority of people rely on screens for entertainment and social connectivity as well as for work. Those hours add up, and our eyes are paying the price.

This reliance on screens is known to lower our blink rates, cause dry eyes, and something called computer vision syndrome. If you’re spending most of your day looking at a screen, it’s best to consult your eye doctor for a protection and treatment plan.


8. Your eyes are dry or itchy.

If you notice a feeling of dryness, itchiness, or grittiness in your eyes, that could be happening for several reasons. For many, this is their allergies acting up. But for others, it could mean something more serious caused by disease, too much screen time, or airborne toxins.

If your eyes are feeling itchy or dry more frequently and the feeling is getting in the way of work or life, be sure to schedule an appointment with your eye doctor.


9. It’s just been a while!

The ninth and final reason to see your optometrist is perhaps the most important message for people – it’s just been a while! You don’t need to wait for a serious eye condition, illness, or deterioration of vision to see your eye doctor. And besides, being proactive is the best thing to do for your overall health, which prevents long-term issues and keeps your eyes in tip-top shape.

If you’re ready to book an eye exam, contact Inner Harbour Optometry or visit one of our two Victoria locations.