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Recognizing Poor Vision

In patients, whether young or old, sometimes poor vision can be due to several possible factors such as changes in the body or in the eye, eye diseases, side effects caused by medication or injuries to the eye. Commonly, people also experience visual abnormalities resulting from aging or eye strain. This can result in changes in your eyesight, which may make it uncomfortable or difficult to get through everyday activities such as reading books or using a computer for extended periods of time. These vision problems can be expressed via the following symptoms: blurry vision, headaches, eye strain, squinting and trouble seeing from short or long distances.

One of the first signs of a vision problem can be blurred vision. If you suffer from blurred vision when you're focusing on faraway objects or signs, you may be nearsighted, or myopic. If you have blurred vision when you're looking at objects at close range this could mean you suffer from hyperopia, or farsightedness. It can also be a symptom of astigmatism due to an irregularity in the way the cornea is formed. No matter the reason you have blurry vision, it is vital to have your eye doctor thoroughly check your vision and prescribe a solution to help clarify your sight.

Another common indicator of a vision problem is trouble distinguishing different colors or intensity of color. This generally means the patient has a color perception problem, or color blindness. Interestingly, this condition is often not known to the patient until proven by testing. Color blindness is mainly something that affects males. If present in a female it could mean she has ocular disease, in which case, an eye care professional should be consulted. For people who can't see objects in dim light, it could mean the patient suffers from night blindness.

A condition frequently seen in elderly people is cataracts, which can have numerous telltale signs including: unclear vision that worsens in bright light, weak night vision, difficulty seeing small writing or details, the need for brighter light when reading, double or triple vision in one eye only puffiness of the eye, and a milky white look to the normally dark pupil.

Pulsing pain in the eye, headaches, blurred vision, redness in the eye, rainbow coronas around lights, nausea and vomiting are indicators of glaucoma, an acute medical illness, which requires prompt medical attention.

With younger patients, we recommend you watch for uncoordinated eye movement, or crossed eyes, which could indicate a vision problem called strabismus. Certain behavior in children, such as rubbing eyes frequently, squinting, head tilting, or needing to shut one eye to see things better, can often indicate strabismus.

Though some conditions are more severe than others, anything that restricts normal sight can be something that compromises your quality of life. A short consultation with your optometrist can prevent being avoidably uncomfortable, or further eye and vision damage.

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