An example of an optical migraine

Just as with the rest of the body, tiredness and stress can wreak havoc on our eyes. Symptoms such as headaches, eye strain, floaters, optical migraines, these can all be worrying when we experience them, but are generally not of serious concern, particularly if you know you’ve been under a bit pressure recently? "Floaters" for example (little black/grey spots) in your vision can be quite normal, check out this amazing little video for a better explanation.

However, some visual symptoms canin rare cases indicate a problem which needs treating. As a general rule of thumb, if you’ve had a sudden onset of any unusual visual symptoms, then it would be advisable to get it checked out, just to be on the safe side.

In practice, alarm bells start ringing whenever anyone has/is experiencing flashing lights. The advice here would be to contact your Optician, GP, or the eye emergency department of your local hospital ASAP. Other symptoms to be mindful of include the sudden appearance of a lot of floaters (some people describe it like a "swarm of flies"), recurrent subconjunctival haemorrhage (bloodshot eye), blurred vision, doubling (double vision), eye pain, or as if there is a "net curtain" or "cobweb" in your vision, to name but a few – this is not an exhaustive list. Basically, if you’ve noticed anything unusual, either visually or externally (lumps and bumps), contact your Optician for further advice. Like a lot of these things, most eye problems, if detected early, won’t cause unnecessary loss of vision. So get it checked out as soon as possible. My motto is that it’s always best to air on the side of caution when it comes to your vision – you only get one pair of eyes!

Another thing that you shouldn’t ignore is your family history. Many eye conditions run in families, from simple long and short sightedness, to more serious diseases like glaucoma. Knowledge of “problems” with sight can help detect a condition before it becomes serious. (Also, if you’re 40 or over and have a family history of glaucoma, you won’t have to pay for your sight tests!) It‘s worth asking the question…

If you're concerned, or would like further information on anything discussed in this post, please don’t hesitate to contact me – just click “Ask Sarah” and ask away!