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Recognizing Poor Vision

In patients, whether young or old, sometimes poor vision can be the result of several possible factors such as anatomical changes or defects in the eye, diseases affecting the eye, side effects due to medication or injuries to the eye. Commonly, people also suffer from visual disturbances associated with age or eye strain. These experiences can cause changes in your eyesight, which might cause discomfort and even make it harder to perform normal activities such as reading the newspaper or using a computer for extended periods of time. Common symptoms of such vision problems include blurry vision, headaches, eye strain, and struggling with short or long distances.

One of the most common signs of a vision problem can be blurred vision. If you suffer from blurred vision when looking at distant objects, you might very well be myopic or nearsighted. Blurred vision that's present when you are looking at objects at close range may be a sign of farsightedness, or hyperopia. Blurred vision can also be a symptom of astigmatism which occurs due to an irregularity in the shape of the cornea, or the curvature of the lens inside the eye. In all cases of blurry vision, it is essential to have your eye care professional thoroughly check your vision and prescribe a solution to help clarify your sight.

Rapid flashes of light, often combined with floating black spots and what may feel like a dark curtain or veil inhabiting a portion of your vision indicates the possibility of what's known as a retinal detachment. If this happens, see your eye doctor promptly, because this can have severe consequences for your eyesight.

Another indicator of a vision problem is difficulty discerning different colors or strength of color. This is an indication of a problem perceiving color, or color blindness. Color blindness is usually not known to the patient until proven with a test. Color blindness is mainly something that affects males. If a woman has difficulty perceiving color it could mean she has ocular disease, and an eye doctor should be consulted. For those who have difficulty distinguishing objects in dim light, it could mean the patient suffers from night blindness.

Cataracts, a condition frequently seen older people have a number of telltale signs including: unclear vision that weakens in bright light, trouble seeing in the dark or reduced light, difficulty seeing small writing or details, colors that appear faded or yellowed, redness of the eye, and an opaque white look to the usually dark pupil.

Throbbing eye pain, headaches, blurry sight, redness in the eye, colorful coronas around lights, nausea and vomiting are indicators of glaucoma, a severe medical illness, which calls for prompt medical attention.

With younger patients, it's useful to keep an eye out for uncoordinated eye movement, or eyes that cross in or out, which may indicate a condition called strabismus. Specific behavior in children, like rubbing eyes frequently, squinting, or the need to close one eye in order to focus better, often indicate this issue.

If you are familiar with any of the symptoms listed here, visit your eye doctor as soon as possible. While clearly some conditions may be more severe than others, any disruption to clear eyesight will be something that compromises your quality of life. A quick appointment with your optometrist can save you from unnecessary discomfort, or further eye and vision damage.