9 signs you need glasses and why you shouldn’t ignore them
I have always had very good vision. It was a humble boast that I carried in my back pocket. But over the past few months, I’ve noticed that I’ve been squinting at my computer and my phone. It got bad enough that I had to walk away because I gave myself recurrent eye strain.
So I went to the ophthalmologist. Yes, I have good vision, but I have a screen vision problem due to moderate astigmatism that I ignored for years. Astigmatism is a refractive error that occurs when the lens or cornea of the eye does not have the shape it should have. It’s extremely common – according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, one in three people live with it.
Now I write this without squinting, thanks to the prescription glasses pinned to my face by my headphones. Take it from me; just because you can see things doesn’t mean you see them as clearly as possible. Here are the subtle signs you might need glasses.
For more health tips, find out how naturally stop itchy eyes And how to extend your life by sleeping.
9 things that tell you it’s time to buy glasses
1. You squint to see things
Reading this, are you squinting? If so, relax your face. Are the words slightly blurry now? If so, you may need glasses.
Strabismus is a natural reaction we have when we need to get things straight. By squinting, the lens of the eye changes shape and less light enters the retina, making things look sharper. Constant squinting when looking at things is one of the most obvious signs of blurred vision.
2. Blurry vision
Blurry vision is another of the main reasons I went to the eye doctor. Over time, I noticed that the letters on my phone keypad were blurry while I was typing. In my case, it was caused by astigmatism. However, blurred vision can also be a sign of presbyopia or farsightedness. All of this can be corrected with glasses.
3. You suffer from eyestrain
Eye strain results from several sources, including poor lighting, stress, and fatigue. But it can also stem from constant computer use and underlying vision conditions that cause you to squint to see better. Eye strain can hamper your ability to concentrate and complete your usual routine. Essentially, eye strain means that your eyes are tired.
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, common symptoms of eye strain include:
- Eye muscle spasms
- Itchy or watery eyes
- Light sensitivity
- Back and neck pain
- Blurred vision
4. You have to hold the books closer to see them clearly
Do you ever start reading a book or magazine and find yourself holding it closer to your face than before? It’s like he’s getting closer and closer without you noticing.
Most often this happens because of presbyopia or reduced ability to focus and see things up close. It is also often called age-related hyperopia. This usually starts to happen around age 40. Presbyopia occurs naturally with age and can easily be corrected with glasses.
5. It’s harder to see at night.
Night blindness, which describes difficulty seeing things in dimly lit environments or in the dark, can also mean you need glasses. There are several reasons why this can happen; for example, it can be as simple as being nearsighted or having difficulty seeing things far away.
More seriously, night blindness can also be a symptom of cataracts or clouding of the lens, retinitis pigmentosa, or tunnel vision caused by dark pigment in the retinas. Night blindness is particularly important to treat because it compromises your ability to drive.
6. Your eyes take a while to adjust to changing light
Our eyes are designed to adapt to the light thanks to the iris, the colored part of your eye. The iris is responsible for adjusting the pupil, the opening in the iris. When the pupil dilates, it lets in more light, which helps you see when it’s dark. The iris contracts the pupil when it is bright. There are times when the iris doesn’t adjust as quickly.
If your eye is taking longer than usual to adjust, it’s time to talk to your doctor to see if glasses can help correct this.
7. You have frequent headaches
Headaches can occur for a variety of reasons, such as dehydration, diet, stress, and hormones. Another common reason is vision problems. Naturally, with so many causes, it can be difficult to attribute a headache to just one thing. This is why so many people go without glasses when they need them.
Take note of your habits. Do you squint or hold objects close to your face? Getting glasses can relieve eye-related headaches.
8. Distorted Vision
Distorted or wavy vision is often described as things looking underwater. Lines and colors are distorted because it looks like waves are passing through them. Wavy vision can be a sign of macular degeneration or retinal damage and loss of central vision. Macular degeneration is not curable. However, you can slow the progression of the disease. Eyeglasses made specifically for macular degeneration can help manage symptoms.
9. See halos
Have you noticed that night lights tend to spread out? Like a halo around the source? Seeing halos around lights like headlights or streetlights is another sign that you might need glasses. Halos are symptoms of several vision problems: astigmatism, hyperopia and cataracts.
Don’t ignore your symptoms
If any of the signs on this list sound familiar, it’s time to schedule a comprehensive eye exam. Just because you make it work doesn’t mean your vision is as good as it gets. Why not see life to the fullest?
But it’s more than that. Ignoring vision problems can threaten your health. Poor vision can increase your risk of injury or decrease your quality of life. It can also feel incredibly isolating and contribute to depression or anxiety.
For more health tips, see what foods are bad for your teeth and how weigh yourself correctly.
The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to constitute medical or health advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have about a medical condition or health goals.
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