There are certain situations in which you should visit your optometrist as soon as possible. Read on to find out what these situations are.
Both your short and long-distance vision have suddenly become blurred
More often than not, blurred vision is simply a sign that you need to have your prescription for your glasses or contact lenses updated. However, if you notice that your vision has suddenly become extremely blurry, it is important not to postpone your visit to the local optometrist, as in some cases, this issue can be a symptom of a more serious eye condition which requires immediate treatment in order to halt its progression.
For example, if you suffer from diabetes and have been struggling to keep your blood glucose levels stable, it is possible that your blurred vision is the result of diabetic retinopathy, a serious eye disease which damages the retina's blood vessels and which can lead to vision loss if you fail to have it treated promptly.
If only one of your eyes has developed blurred vision and the affected eye looks quite cloudy, you may have a cataract. This clouding of the eye's lens will continue to worsen if you do not seek treatment. Should your optometrist find that you have developed a cataract, they will probably refer you to an ophthalmologist for surgery.
You're struggling to see things clearly when looking at them up close
If you are over the age of forty and have begun to notice that you have to squint in order to read books, food labels and the text on your computer, but you have no problem seeing things that are located at a distance, it's possible that you may have developed age-related farsightedness (formally known as 'presbyopia').
This is an extremely common eye problem which the vast majority of people develop as they get older. It is caused by a combination of changes to the proteins within the eye lens that lead to the lens itself losing some of its elasticity, and a weakening of the muscle fibres surrounding the eye.
Whilst it is not serious, it is still important to have your optometrist check your eyesight and, if necessary, provide you with reading glasses.
If you do not get glasses, you may find yourself experiencing symptoms of eye strain (such as headaches and dry, sore eyes) after spending a lot of time reading books or looking at your computer.