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Recognizing Poor Vision

In patients, whether young or old, sometimes poor vision can be the result of several possible factors including changes in the body or defects in the eye or visual system, eye diseases, side effects of medicine or injuries to the eye. Lots of people also report visual abnormalities resulting from aging or eye stress. Aging and stress can cause changes in your vision, which can make it painful or difficult to perform everyday activities, like reading books or using a computer for long periods. Common symptoms of such vision problems include eye strain, headache, blurred vision, and struggling with close and far distances.

Blurred vision is one of the most oft-reported signs of a vision problem. If you suffer from blurred vision when looking at distant objects or signs, you could very well have myopia, or be nearsighted. Blurred vision that's present when you are looking at objects nearby may be a sign of farsightedness, or hyperopia. It can also be a sign of astigmatism due to a flaw in the way the cornea is formed. No matter the reason you have blurry vision, it is vital that an eye care professional examine your vision and prescribe a solution to help clarify your sight.

Rapid flashes of light, together with floating black spots and the feeling of a dark curtain or veil that limits a portion of your vision indicates you might have a retinal detachment. If this is the case, visit your eye doctor promptly, because it can have long-term consequences for your eyesight.

Another common warning sign of a vision problem is difficulty discerning different colors or intensity of color. This indicates color blindness. Color blindness is often unknown to the patient until diagnosed by testing. Color blindness is generally something that affects males. If present in a female it may mean she has ocular disease, and an eye care professional should be consulted. For those who struggle to distinguish between objects in dim light, it could mean the patient suffers from night blindness.

Cataracts, a condition frequently seen aging people can have several warning signs including: unclear vision that is worse in bright light, weak night vision, trouble discerning small writing or details, muted or faded colors, improvement in near vision while distance vision worsens, painful inflammation of the eye, and a milky white look to the normally dark pupil.

Pulsing eye pain, headaches, unclear sight, redness in the eye, rainbow halos around lights, nausea and vomiting are also signs of glaucoma, a severe medical illness, which requires immediate medical attention.

In children, it is important to look out for weak eye movement, or crossed eyes, which may indicate a condition called strabismus. Specific things children might do, like rubbing eyes, squinting, head tilting, or the need to close one eye to look at things better, can often indicate this issue.

While clearly some conditions may be more severe than others, anything that limits good sight will be a burden, and impact your quality of life. A short appointment with your optometrist can save you from being avoidably uncomfortable, or even more severe eye damage.