Often, when either children an adults experience poor vision, it can be caused by a number of conditions such as anatomical changes or defects in the eye or visual system, diseases affecting the eye, side effects of medication or injury. Many people also suffer from visual disturbances due to aging or eye stress. These experiences can lead to changes in your vision, which can make it uncomfortable or difficult to get through daily activities such as reading books or working on a computer for extended periods of time. These vision problems can be expressed through the following symptoms: blurry vision, headaches, eye strain, squinting and problems seeing at close and far distances.
Blurred vision is one of the most common signs of a vision problem. If you have blurred vision when you are focusing on faraway objects or signs, you may have myopia, or be nearsighted. Blurred vision that's present when you are looking at objects at close range may be a sign of hyperopia, or farsightedness. It can also be a symptom of astigmatism which occurs because of an irregularity in the way the cornea is formed. In all cases of blurry vision, it's essential that an eye doctor examine your vision and decide on the most effective way to rectify your sight.
A sudden onset of flashes of light, often combined with black floating spots and the sensation of a dark curtain or veil that limits a portion of your vision indicates the chance of a retinal detachment. If this is the case, see your eye doctor as soon as you can, because this can have long-term consequences.
Another sign of a vision problem is trouble distinguishing shades or brightness of color. This is an indication of color blindness. Color blindness is generally unknown to the patient until proven with a test. Color blindness is generally found in males. If present in a female it may represent ocular disease, in which case, an optometrist should be consulted. For those who can't see objects in dim light, it could mean the patient suffers from night blindness.
An issue commonly found in elderly people is cataracts, which can have a number of warning signs including: blurry sight that worsens in bright light, trouble seeing in the dark or reduced light, difficulty discerning small writing or details, colors that appear faded or yellowed, unexpected improvement in near vision but a decline in distance vision, painful redness around the eye, and an opaque white look to the normally dark pupil.
Throbbing pain in the eye, headaches, unclear sight, redness in the eye, rainbow rings around lights, nausea and vomiting are also signs of glaucoma, a severe medical illness, which calls for medical attention.
When it comes to children, it is important to look out for weak eye movement, or crossed eyes, which could indicate a condition known as strabismus. Some behavior in children, like rubbing one or both eyes frequently, squinting, head tilting, or the need to shut one eye to focus better, can often point to this issue.
If you have any of the symptoms listed here, visit your eye doctor as soon as possible. While clearly some conditions could be more serious than others, anything that limits normal sight will be something that compromises your quality of life. A brief appointment with your optometrist can prevent unnecessary discomfort, not to mention even more severe eye and vision damage.