They say eyes are windows to the soul, and that saying has finally been backed up by scientific research. It turns out the saying does hold its weight in gold. Scientists have found that patterns in the pupil define a person’s personality. The genes responsible for the development of parts of the eye including the iris also help shape the frontal lobe of the brain which controls several aspects of a person’s behavior. While we take our eyes and vision for granted, the true importance of eyes is described by those who cannot see. Eyes are our opening to seeing and discovering the world around us, identifying and learning what surrounds us, and catching precious moments that form our most valuable memories. Keeping up with regular eye exams is crucial to preserve your visual acuity and prevent eye disorders that often accompany the process of aging.
Who Needs to Get Checked for Eye Diseases?
Our eyes are one of the first parts of the body that are fully functional after birth. Eyes work overtime, nonstop whenever we are awake, and as such, they go through a lot of stress on a daily basis. Furthermore, with increased air pollution, it is only natural for our eyes to feel the effects of the deteriorating environment around us. Those who smoke, work long hours in the sun, or perform jobs where eye protection is required are especially vulnerable to suffering from eye disorders. While a number of eye conditions are genetic, there are some disorders which can be controlled or totally prevented by having a comprehensive dilated eye exam every now and then.
Eye disorders can take hold of vision at any stage and any age. Most people are already aware of getting eye exams along with their annual physicals, or scheduling appointments with doctors for eye exams as they get older. Eye diseases can also occur in younger patients, and parents should get their children’s eyesight checked if they suspect any problems. Children are often unable or unwilling to tell their parents about problems with their vision. In most cases, they stay unaware of the problem, as they haven’t ever heard of it or experienced it before. Therefore, it makes it even more crucial to have young adults and children regularly examined for vision related problems.
Common Eye Disorders and their Symptoms:
Unlike other types of diseases, any discomfort with your eyes cannot – and should not – be confused with a problem in another part of your body. At the first sign of visual problems, you should contact your physician and schedule an appointment for an eye exam. Common eye diseases can be recognized through one or more of the following problems:
Glaucoma is form of irreversible blindness that affects 3 million Americans. Caused by damage to the optic nerve, glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness and can occur at any age. The biggest challenge in identifying glaucoma is that it has no warning signs, but the following symptoms may occur:
– Patchy blind spots in the peripheral (side) or central area of vision
– Tunnel vision
– Halos around lights and eye redness
– Eye pain and blurred vision
– Nausea and vomiting
If you have any of these symptoms that persist for more than a couple of days, it is advised to immediately contact an ophthalmologist.
Another common eye disorder is a cataract, or clouding of the vision. This can make it difficult to clearly see distant objects, drive, and read. Cataracts slowly creep up on you over several years, so it is easy to catch the symptoms, including:
– Cloudy, blurred vision
– Problems with night vision
– Seeing halos around lights
– Seeing faded colors
– Double vision (seeing two objects instead of one) from one eye
Myopia or nearsightedness is indicated by:
– Blurred distance vision
– Night vision problems
– Squinting to see clearly
General Symptoms of Eye Disorders:
In addition to the common eye conditions described above, you should also schedule an eye exam if you experience any of the following:
– Dry eyes everyday
– Dim, distorted, or blurry vision
– Unusual sensitivity to bright light
– Problems seeing normally at night
– Difficulty in reading small print or viewing distant objects
– You experience “floaters” or small spots in your field of vision
– You feel a curtain is lowering over one of your eyes
– You feel a foreign object in your eye
– You suffer from any fracture or injury to the bone around your eye