When To See An Eye Doctor

Woman getting her eyes checked by a machine at an optometry appointment

Should I Go To An Optometrist?

If you woke up today (or a few days ago) with eye troubles, you may wonder if you should power through, try some home remedies, or go to an eye doctor. In most cases, you’re better off playing it safe by making an appointment with your optometrist — even if you end up not needing treatment, you’ll receive peace of mind knowing that nothing is wrong. Keep scrolling to learn some common reasons you may want to head to the eye doctor*, and when you need an optometrist in Rochester, make an appointment with us!

*This blog post is intended to be used for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional medical advice. Contact your healthcare provider if you need medical advice or attention.


Infographic listing reasons a person should consider seeing an eye doctor


Rochester Optical provides high-quality eye exams, eye care supplies, and eyewear to support clear, comfortable vision in all of our patients. Many of our prescription eyeglasses frames are made in the USA by our own lab. We also manufacture protective eyewear for the United States military and create innovative wearable solutions for AR and VR use. When you choose Rochester Optical for your eye care needs, you’re choosing an industry leader in optometry. Make an appointment today!

Visit An Eye Doctor If:

Your Eyes Are Red, Itchy, Or Both

An optometrist can help identify the cause of red, itchy eyes to help you get on the path to relief. These symptoms together are often indicative of an allergy. Itchy eyes can be a sign that you are overwearing contact lenses or not changing them out for a fresh pair frequently enough. Blepharitis caused by bacteria or microscopic mites can also lead to itchy eyes and red, inflamed eyelids. Certain products such as face wash or lotions may also be to blame. Eye infections, such as pink eye (conjunctivitis), may also be the cause. If you’re experiencing red, itchy eyes outside of previously diagnosed seasonal allergies, it’s a good idea to schedule an eye exam.

Your Eyes Are Irritated or Burning

Irritated or burning eyes may be caused by an infection — visit your eye doctor for prompt treatment. If your eyes are feeling irritated after contact with soap, lotion, or another mild substance, flushing them with water and applying a cool compress should help. If your eyes came into contact with a substance that is causing ongoing or worsening symptoms, call your eye doctor for an appointment. Pay attention to how your eyes react after using facial care products or applying makeup — the substance doesn’t need to enter the eye to cause irritation.

ATTENTION: In the case of exposure to harsh chemicals, seek emergency medical care immediately and flush the eyes with cool, clean water.

Something Is In Your Eye

How can such tiny objects cause such annoyance? From an eyelash to a grain of sand, these tiny invaders can result in a miserable day of constant blinking and fighting the urge to rub your eyes off. Despite the temptation, don’t rub or otherwise put pressure on your eyes if you suspect a foreign object is present — doing so can cause the object to scratch your cornea. Flush your eye(s) with cool, clean running water to remove the object. If this proves unsuccessful, visit an optometrist — they can identify and remove the object and assess whether additional damage needs to be treated.

ATTENTION: If a large, sharp, or painful foeign object enters your eye, seek emergency medical care.

You’re Experiencing Eye Pain

Whether your eye pain or discomfort is sharp, stinging, dull, or just pressure, it’s never a bad idea to check in with an optometrist. While a brief episode of eye pain may not be cause for concern, ongoing eye pain merits an exam. With so many potential causes, eye pain should not be ignored. Your optometrist can help diagnose the problem and refer you to additional specialists if needed.

Your Vision Is Blurry Or Abnormal

Blurry or “off” vision may simply be a sign that it’s time to update your contact or eyeglasses prescription or get corrective lenses if you don’t have them already. Dry eyes may also lead to blurry vision. If you wear corrective lenses and feel that your vision isn’t crisp, you may have astigmatism — schedule an eye exam and bring up this concern to your optometrist. Whether you wear corrective lenses or not, a sudden change in vision could be cause for greater concern. Schedule an appointment with an optometrist to make sure nothing else is amiss.

ATTENTION: If your symptoms occur after a head or eye injury, seek urgent medical attention — consider calling your eye doctor to describe the situation rather than waiting for an appointment, or go directly to another care provider.

You Get Frequent Headaches

Vision-related headaches may be caused by an incorrect lens prescription, poorly fitting glasses, or eye strain. A simple eye exam can help determine if you need an updated prescription. If your glasses frames are putting pressure or leaving marks on your face or head, you can visit your optometrist and speak with an optician about adjusting your frames. They can often do it on the spot! You can also explore options for lenses that block blue light to help prevent eye strain during extended screen time. If you are concerned that your headaches are not vision related, see a medical professional.

Your Last Eye Exam Was Two Years Ago

It is recommended that adults between 18 to 60 years of age receive an eye exam every two years — if they are asymptomatic and deemed “risk-free.” That recommendation jumps up to one a year if you require vision correction, have an existing eye condition, or need to be monitored for potential eye problems. Your eye doctor may recommend more frequent exams, if needed.

Get Professional Eye Care And More At Rochester Optical

From comprehensive eye exams to locally made eyeglasses from our own lab, Rochester Optical goes the extra mile to deliver the innovative eye care and eye products you need. Visit our retail location to meet the staff and browse our selection of in-house and designer frames, or make an appointment online from home or on the go.