An annual eye exam is important to catch conditions early so that it can be slowed or prevented from causing any vision loss.
There are other issues that also should be evaluated sooner rather than waiting for the annual exam.
1. Headaches: Frequent headaches can be a sign that the vision has changed and the eyes are working harder than they should. Headaches that wake you up at night should be evaluated urgently by a neurologist.
2. Extreme light sensitivity: Every one has some sensitivity to the sun but an increase can be a symptom of damage to the front surface of the eye.
3. Getting hit in or around the eye: Getting scratched by a child (or chicken), hit by a rock or a nerf dart can all cause serious damage and be sight threatening.
4. Floaters, flashes, distorted or double vision all mean that a vision exam is needed and that you can’t wait for that annual exam.
5. If your vision goes briefly black and slowly comes back. This can be a sign of a stroke in the eye.
6. Significant changes in high blood pressure and diabetes. This can damage blood vessels and the easiest way to see the damage is in the eyes.