Philip Walsh - Eye symptoms

Publish Date
Thursday, 11 January 2018, 1:46PM
Photo: Getty Images

Photo: Getty Images

1. Floaters & Flashes
Floaters are the appearance of small dots and cobweb-like squiggles which drift along your field of vision. Although most people have experienced floaters before, a new onset of floaters, possibly accompanied by peripheral flashes of light could be a sign of posterior or vitreous retinal detachment, which needs to be assessed by an optometrist or an ophthalmologist. In rarer cases, individuals may develop a complete retinal detachment which requires urgent surgery to avoid the loss of sight. 

2. Red, teary eyes
Having red, teary eyes is often simply due to fatigue or contact lens irritation. However if it is becoming a common occurrence, it could also be Microbial Keratitis; a corneal infection that causes pain, inflammation, discharge, and other kinds of eye symptoms. 
When caught early, it can be treated more easily. Wait too long and you could potentially lose your vision. If you are having problems like weepy, painful, irritated, light-sensitive, red eyes and you wear contacts, get in to see your optometrist now.

3. Distorted vision
Distorted vision is when something that should be straight, appears curved and wavy. If this is something you can relate to, it may indicate that you have a problem with your retina, particularly the macula at the centre of the retina. Problems with the macula could indicate macular degeneration; an eye disease which is the leading cause of vision loss amongst older New Zealanders. The earlier the detection, the more chance you have of saving your sight. Treatments exist that may slow or stop any deterioration in vision so it is very important to have any distortions in vision assessed as soon as possible.

4. Sudden reduction in vision
While vision is something that unfortunately slowly deteriorates as we age, any sudden changes in vision should be assessed immediately. A number of eye diseases can cause this, however, as with most other symptoms, the earlier they are detected, the higher the chance of preventing permanent damage.

The above symptoms and conditions all warrant a visit to your local optometrist. To find your nearest store and to book an appointment, visit

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