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Knowing When to Get Your Vision Checked

In patients, whether young or old, sometimes poor vision can be caused by several possible conditions such as changes in the body or abnormalities in the eye, diseases affecting the eye, side effects due to medicine or eye injuries. Commonly, people also experience visual disturbances resulting from aging or eye strain. This can cause changes in your vision, which can make it uncomfortable or difficult to perform daily activities such as reading the newspaper or using a computer for long periods. These vision problems can be expressed through the following symptoms: eye strain, headache, blurred vision, squinting and struggling with close and far distances.

One of the first signs of a vision problem can be blurred vision. If you report blurred vision when you are focusing on distant objects or signs, you could be myopic or nearsighted. If you suffer from blurred vision when you're viewing objects at close range it may be a sign of farsightedness, or hyperopia. Blurred vision can also be a sign of astigmatism because of an irregularity in the shape of the cornea, or the curvature of the lens inside the eye. In all cases of blurry vision, it is essential to have your optometrist thoroughly check your vision and prescribe a solution to help clarify your sight.


Another common warning sign of a vision problem is difficulty discerning different colors or strength of color. This indicates a problem perceiving color, or color blindness. Color blindness is usually not known to the patient until diagnosed by testing. Color blindness is mainly something that affects males. If a woman has difficulty seeing color it could indicate ocular disease, and an eye doctor needs to be consulted. For people who have difficulty distinguishing objects in dim light, it is a sign of possible night blindness.

A condition frequently seen in older people is cataracts, which have a number of warning signs including: unclear vision that worsens in bright light, weak night vision, difficulty discerning small writing or objects, the need for brighter light when reading, painful inflammation around the eye, and an opaque white appearance to the normally dark pupil.

Throbbing eye pain, headaches, blurry vision, redness in the eye, rainbow coronas around lights, nausea and vomiting are also signs of glaucoma, a severe medical condition, which requires medical attention.

In children, it's useful to keep an eye out for uncoordinated eye movement, or crossed eyes, which could indicate a vision problem known as strabismus. Specific behavior, like rubbing eyes frequently, squinting, or the need to shut one eye in order to look at things better, can often indicate this issue.

If you experience any of the symptoms mentioned here, make an appointment with your eye doctor promptly. While clearly some conditions could be more severe than others, anything that restricts good sight can be something that compromises your quality of life. A short visit to your optometrist can prevent unnecessary discomfort, not to mention even more severe eye damage.


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