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What symptoms should result in a doctor visit?

Answers by Mitchell Gossman, MD, an ophthalmologist at Eye Associates of Central Minnesota, located in St. Cloud


Are there any eye symptoms I should watch for that should cause me to see an eye doctor?


Of course, no two situations are exactly alike, so these are general guidelines only and is not complete.


Symptoms like eye pain, new floaters, double vision (and others) should result in an immediate trip to the eye doctor. File photo

You should be seen immediately for the following symptoms:


1. New floaters or flashing lights. This can be a sign of a retinal detachment or tear.

2. Eye pain.

3. Concern about a possible foreign body causing irritation.

4. New red, sore eye.

5. Sudden change in vision for the worse.

6. New double vision that goes away when either eye is covered.

7. Sudden onset of new droopy lid.

You should be seen within a reasonable time period for these:


1. Changes in vision.

2. Haloes around lights.

3. Dry eyes.

You should also be periodically for a routine eye exam.


We recommend every year after age 50, and every year or two when younger than 50. Of course, some patients need to be seen more frequently depending on any conditions that are under treatment. It is much better to detect eye disease early, some of which don’t cause symptoms in the early stages, before it gets out of hand.


When should you be seen for other miscellaneous symptoms? A useful rule of thumb is to take the number of months or weeks that it’s been going on, and divide by four. For example, if you’ve had blurrier vision for two months, be seen within two weeks.

Can an eye exam be done as a virtual visit?


It is a very rare situation for it to be possible to conduct an online, telephone, or video virtual visit. This is because the eye is a small organ, requiring special equipment to do an exam, and it’s not possible to check eye pressures through a virtual visit. Virtual visits are not recommended, except in some cases where a visual acuity and eye pressure can be checked by a clinician, and a telephone consultation takes place.

Find out more


Dr. Mitchell Gossman is a comprehensive ophthalmologist at Eye Associates of Central Minnesota. The office is located at 628 Roosevelt Road, Suite 101, in St. Cloud. To make an appointment or to learn more, call 320-774-3789 or email info@eaofcm.com.


“Ask the Expert” is sponsored content (paid advertising) provided by Eye Associates of Central Minnesota. To learn how your business can promote its products and services like this, contact Sr. Perspective at 320-334-3344.

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