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Poor Vision: Know The Signs

In patients, whether young or old, sometimes poor vision can be caused by a few factors including anatomical changes in the eye or visual system, diseases affecting the eye, side effects of medicine or injuries to the eye. Many people also report visual disturbances associated with age or eye stress. This can result in changes in your vision, which might sometimes make it painful or difficult to get through daily activities, like reading the newspaper or using a computer for extended periods of time. These vision problems can be expressed via the following symptoms: blurry vision, headaches, eye strain, and problems seeing at short or long distances.

One of the first signs of a vision problem can be blurred vision. If you report blurred vision when focusing on faraway objects, you might very well be nearsighted, or myopic. Blurred vision that's present when you are looking at something nearby could mean you suffer from hyperopia, or farsightedness. It can also mean you have astigmatism because of a flaw in the way the cornea is formed, or the curvature of the lens inside the eye. No matter the reason you have blurry vision, it is really important that an optometrist thoroughly check your eyes and prescribe a solution to help clarify your sight.

Sudden flashes of light, together with black floating spots and the sensation of a dark curtain blocking a section of your vision indicates the chance of a retinal detachment. In this case, visit your eye doctor as soon as you can, because this can have long-term consequences for your eyesight.

Another sign of a vision problem is the inability to distinguish between different colors or intensity of color. This indicates a color perception problem, or color blindness. Color vision defects are often not known to the patient until proven by testing. Color blindness is mostly found in males. If a woman has problems seeing color it may indicate ocular disease, and an optometrist needs to be consulted. If you have difficulty distinguishing objects in dim light, it is a sign of possible night blindness.

Cataracts, a condition commonly found in aging people can have numerous indicating signs including: blurry sight that weakens in bright light, weak night vision, difficulty seeing small writing or details, the need for brighter light when reading, improvement in near vision but a decline in distance vision, puffiness around the eye, and a milky white look to the normally dark pupil.

Pulsing pain in the eye, headaches, blurry vision, redness in the eye, colorful rings around lights, nausea and vomiting are indicators of glaucoma, a serious medical illness, which needs immediate medical attention.

With younger patients, we recommend you look out for weak eye movement, or crossed eyes, which could indicate a condition known as strabismus. Some behavior, such as rubbing one or both eyes frequently, squinting, or needing to shut one eye to focus better, often point to this issue.

Though some conditions are more problematic than others, any disruption to good eyesight can be a burden, and impact your quality of life. A short appointment with your optometrist can save you from unnecessary discomfort, or even more severe eye damage.