In patients, whether young or old, sometimes poor vision can be due to several possible factors including anatomical changes or defects in the eye or visual system, diseases affecting the eye, side effects of medicine or eye injuries. Many people also suffer from visual abnormalities due to aging or eye stress. These experiences can result in changes in your vision, which may sometimes cause pain and even make it harder to get through everyday activities such as reading fine print or looking at a computer screen for extended periods of time. Common symptoms of such vision problems include eye strain, headache, blurred vision, squinting and problems seeing at short or long distances.
One of the first signs of a vision problem can be blurred vision. If you have blurred vision when looking at distant objects, you might have myopia, or be nearsighted. Blurred vision that's present when you are looking at something close by may be a sign of hyperopia, or farsightedness. Blurred vision can also be a symptom of astigmatism which occurs because of an irregularity in the shape of the cornea. Whatever the cause of blurry vision, it is essential to have your eye doctor examine your eyes and decide on the best way to improve your sight.
Another common warning sign of a vision problem is difficulty discerning shades or intensity of color. This indicates a color perception problem, or color blindness. Color vision defects are generally not known to the patient until discovered via a consultation. Color blindness is mainly 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 people who struggle to distinguish between objects in minimal light, it could mean the patient suffers from night blindness.
Cataracts, a condition commonly found in elderly people can have a number of warning signs which include: hazy sight that is worse in bright light, weak night vision, trouble seeing small writing or details, colors that appear faded or yellowed, improvement in near vision while distance vision worsens, inflammation of the eye, and a pale look to the usually dark pupil.
Throbbing pain in the eye, headaches, blurry vision, inflammation in the eye, rainbow coronas around lights, nausea and vomiting are also signs of glaucoma, a severe medical illness, which calls for prompt medical attention.
In children, it is important to keep an eye out for uncoordinated eye movement, or eyes that cross in or out, which could indicate a vision problem known as strabismus. Specific behavior in children, such as rubbing one or both eyes, squinting, or the need to shut one eye in order to see things better, often point to strabismus.
Though some conditions could be more severe than others, anything that restricts clear sight can be a burden, and impact your quality of life. A brief consultation with your optometrist can save you from unnecessary discomfort, not to mention even more severe eye and vision problems.