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Knowing When to Get Your Vision Checked

Poor vision in adults or children can be due to a number of conditions including changes in the body or abnormalities in the eye or visual system, eye diseases, side effects caused by medication or injuries to the eye. Commonly, people also report visual abnormalities due to aging or eye strain. Aging and stress can result in changes in your eyesight, which might make it painful or difficult to get through normal activities, like reading books or looking at a computer screen for long periods. Common symptoms of such vision problems include blurry vision, headaches, eye strain, squinting and problems seeing at 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 looking at distant objects, you may very well be myopic or nearsighted. If you suffer from blurred vision when you're looking at objects at close range it could mean you suffer from hyperopia, or farsightedness. It can also mean you have astigmatism which occurs due to an irregularity in the way the cornea is formed. No matter the reason you have blurry vision, it's really important to have your optometrist thoroughly check your eyes and prescribe a solution to help clarify your sight.

Another common indicator of a vision problem is trouble distinguishing shades or strength of color. This indicates color blindness. Color blindness is often not known to the patient until proven with a test. Color blindness is mostly found in males. If a woman has problems seeing color it could mean she has ocular disease, in which case, an optometrist should be consulted. For people who can't see objects in minimal light, it is a sign of possible night blindness.

An issue commonly found in aging patients is cataracts, which have a number of warning signs including: blurry sight that weakens in bright light, trouble seeing in the dark or reduced light, difficulty discerning small writing or details, muted or faded colors, unexpected improvement in near vision while distance vision worsens, painful inflammation of the eye, and an opaque white appearance to the normally dark pupil.

Pulsing pain in the eye, headaches, blurry vision, inflammation in the eye, rainbow rings around lights, nausea and vomiting are indicators of glaucoma, a serious medical illness, which calls for prompt medical attention.

When it comes to children, it is important to watch for weak eye movement, or eyes that cross in or out, which may indicate a condition called strabismus. Some behavior in children, like rubbing one or both eyes, squinting, head tilting, or needing to close one eye to see things better, often indicate strabismus.

Though some conditions may be more serious than others, anything that restricts clear vision can be a burden, and impact your quality of life. A brief consultation with your optometrist can prevent unnecessary discomfort, not to mention even more severe eye and vision problems.