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When to Get Your Vision Checked

In patients, whether young or old, sometimes poor vision can be due to a few factors such as anatomical changes or abnormalities in the eye, eye diseases, side effects of medicine or injuries to the eye. Many people also suffer from visual disturbances resulting from aging or eye strain. These experiences can lead to changes in your eyesight, which can cause discomfort and even make it harder to perform everyday activities, like reading fine print or looking at a computer screen for long periods. These vision problems can be expressed via the following symptoms: blurry vision, headaches, eye strain, squinting and struggling with short or long distances.

Blurred vision is one of the most oft-reported signs of a vision problem. If you have blurred vision when you are looking at faraway objects, you could very well have myopia, or be nearsighted. Blurred vision that's present when you are looking at something close by may be a sign of hyperopia, or farsightedness. Blurred vision can also be a sign of astigmatism which occurs due to a flaw in the way the cornea is formed, or sometimes the curvature of the lens inside the eye. Whatever the cause of blurry vision, it's really important that an optometrist thoroughly check your vision and prescribe a solution to help clarify your sight.

Another common indicator of a vision problem is trouble distinguishing shades or brightness of color. This indicates a color perception problem, or color blindness. Interestingly, this condition is generally unknown to the patient until proven with a test. Color blindness is generally found in males. If present in a female it may indicate ocular disease, and an optometrist should be consulted. For those who can't see objects in low light, it could mean the patient suffers from night blindness.

A problem frequently seen in elderly patients is cataracts, which have several indicating signs including: hazy sight that is worse in bright light, trouble seeing in the dark or reduced light, trouble seeing small writing or objects, colors that appear faded or yellowed, seeing duplicates in one eye, puffiness of the eye, and a milky white appearance to the usually dark pupil.

Throbbing eye pain, headaches, blurred sight, redness in the eye, colorful halos around lights, nausea and vomiting are indicators of glaucoma, a serious medical condition, which requires prompt medical attention.

With younger patients, it is important to watch for uncoordinated eye movement, or crossed eyes, which could indicate a condition known as strabismus. Some behavior in children, like rubbing one or both eyes frequently, squinting, or the need to shut one eye to focus better, can often point to this issue.

If you experience any of the symptoms we've mentioned here, make an appointment with your eye doctor as soon as possible. Even though some conditions are more severe than others, anything that restricts normal sight can be something that compromises your quality of life. A brief consultation with your optometrist can prevent unnecessary discomfort, or further eye problems.

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