Loss of vision
Loss of vision is an indication that you need to get to an ophthalmologist (not an optometrist) or the emergency room right away. At the top of the list of potential causes is a stroke, says Dr Marioneaux. The damage from ischemic strokes (those that are caused by a clot) can be minimised by prompt treatment with clot-dissolving drugs, usually within a window of three to four-and-a-half hours, according to the American College of Cardiology. Loss of vision could also be a detached retina, vascular occlusion (a blocked blood vessel), or in rare cases, a brain tumour, says Dr Marioneaux.
Did you know that strokes can be prevented as well as treated?
Pain, nausea, vomiting, and abnormal pupil size
The most common type of glaucoma (about 90 per cent of cases) is open-angle glaucoma, says US Glaucoma Research Foundation. The less common type is angle-closure glaucoma and this could result in a severe emergency situation. In angle-closure glaucoma, “the eye outflow channels are more prone to be closed off,” explains Dr Klifto. Eye pressure can skyrocket resulting in severe blurriness, pain, nausea and vomiting, and abnormal pupil size. In this case, you need to get to the emergency room to prevent permanent vision loss.
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Medically reviewed by Dr Mark Scroggs