According to the World Blind Union, 80% of all vision impairment can be avoided or corrected. Many individuals in the world today need corrective eyewear to resolve problems they’re experiencing with their vision. Whether you’re having trouble reading signs or experiencing frequent headaches, it’s essential to be aware of changes to your vision. Many are unaware that they have a vision problem and have gone extensive periods without vision correction. If you’re experiencing issues with your sight or noticing any of the signs mentioned below, it’s encouraged to make an appointment with your eye doctor to find out why you’re experiencing vision changes as you may need glasses or contacts.
Types of Vision Problems
There are four common types of vision problems that the typical individual can experience. If you’re noticing changes or issues with your vision, it’s encouraged to contact your eye doctor to schedule a comprehensive eye exam or pediatric eye exam to identify the underlying cause of your eyesight changes.
Myopia or nearsightedness is when individuals can see nearby objects clearly, but objects far away are blurry. This common condition occurs when the eyeball is too long, or the cornea is too curved, which causes the eye not to focus the light that enters correctly, resulting in objects at a distance to appear blurred or fuzzy. One may notice nearsightedness by having trouble making out people on television or difficulties reading the whiteboard at school.
Hyperopia or farsightedness is when individuals can see distant objects clearly, but objects close by are blurry. This common condition occurs when the eyeball is too short, or the cornea is abnormally shaped, which causes the eyes to have to work harder to focus. Individuals with this vision problem will likely experience eye fatigue and headaches. One may notice farsightedness by having trouble reading or writing.
Astigmatism occurs when the light that enters your eye doesn’t get evenly distributed onto the retina, which causes images to appear blurry or stretched out. Depending on the severity of astigmatism, some may not notice any distortions, while others will notice significant distortions. Most commonly, individuals that have astigmatism have an irregularly shaped cornea, or the lens of their eye(s) are slightly curved. Astigmatisms can occur at any age and can generally be treated by corrective eyewear.
Presbyopia is the gradual decline of one’s close vision as they age and is also referred to as farsightedness. As you grow older, your vision slowly declines due to the eye losing flexibility. Your eye(s) are no longer to flex as well as before causing difficulties with focusing on nearby objects. Individuals that experience presbyopia will likely require bifocals or reading glasses the older they get.
Signs You May Need Vision Correction
While there are several signs that you can look for when determining whether you may need vision correction, the ones below are some of the most common. If you’re noticing any of these symptoms, it’s encouraged to contact your eye doctor.
- Frequent Squinting: If regular squinting is occurring, you’re likely trying to reduce the extra light entering your eye(s), thus reducing the size of blurred objects. Squinting is a temporary fix and a common sign that you may be experiencing difficulties from farsightedness or nearsightedness.
- Eye Fatigue or Strain: Eye fatigue or strain can be caused by an eye infection, undiagnosed health condition, or vision changes, but can also be a sign of an underlying vision problem. If you work with computers daily or frequently drive, these activities can also cause eye fatigue or strain. If regular breaks don’t help, it’s encouraged to contact your eye doctor.
- Recurring Headaches: If you’re noticing recurring headaches, you could have a vision problem. Frequent headaches may be a sign that you’re experiencing farsightedness or astigmatism, which can cause close and distant objects to appear blurry. If near and distant objects are blurry, your eyes continuously strain to focus better, which causes headaches to occur.
- Blurred Vision: During reading, driving, and computer use, experiencing blurred vision can be a sign of nearsightedness or farsightedness. If these everyday activities are challenging for you, you are likely experiencing vision problems.
- Halos Appearing Around Lights: When driving, you may begin seeing circles around car headlights, streetlights, and more. Additionally, light bulbs and other fixtures may have rings or halos around them as well. This is a sign that you’re likely developing cataracts or night vision problems due to nearsightedness or farsightedness.
- Losing Your Place While Reading: You may have a vision problem if you begin to lose your spot easily or skip lines while reading. The issues are likely caused from astigmatism or other common eye muscle issues, strabismus. Strabismus is when the eyes aren’t aligned correctly, causing them to point in different directions.
- Difficulty Seeing At Night: Many factors can impair your night vision, such as cataracts or certain medications, but most commonly, you may be having problems as a result of nearsightedness. This will cause you to not see accurately at night, which is extremely dangerous.
Regular Eye Exams Are Vital
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it may mean you have a vision problem, but there are instances where it could mean something else. Regular eye exams are encouraged to identify any underlying issues with your eyes and overall health. It’s recommended to schedule annual eye exams with your eye doctor regularly, so you can stay informed about any changes in your vision and treat them accordingly. Regular eye exams will allow you to correct your vision with glasses or contacts. If you choose to move forward with contacts, eye doctors offer contact lens fittings to properly train you and provide all necessary information for your optimal comfort.