If you have difficulty seeing at night or straining your eyes when staring too long on your phone or a computer, these might be early signs of vision problems. If scheduling an appointment for a comprehensive eye exam is not on top of your list, it should be, especially if you frequently experience the symptoms below.
Are you beginning to notice that you can see fine when the lighting is standard, but as soon as it dims or starts to grow dark, you begin to have issues seeing? Do you find it difficult to read books or magazines at night? Are you uncomfortable with driving in the dark due to having trouble seeing signs? These might be indications of you experiencing night blindness. It’s prevalent in older adults and is usually the first symptom of cataracts.
If you experience unfocused or sudden blurry vision, it can also signify more significant health issues. The letters or words in books becoming fuzzy when you try reading it up close can either be an indicator of astigmatism or farsightedness. Presbyopia is also common in aging patients, where the aging eye progressively worsens its ability to focus on close objects.
Sometimes, concentrating too much on phone and computer screens might cause severe eye strains and lead to Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS). Common CVS symptoms are dry eyes, eye strains, headaches, burning or itchy eyes, difficulty focusing, light sensitivity, and double or blurry vision. If you think you have the mentioned symptoms, you can schedule an eye exam with your doctor to discuss what you are experiencing.
In the meantime, it would be best to follow the 20-20-20 rule, reduce the glare and lighting, position your screen accordingly, and make sure you remember to blink.
Headaches can be from several other causes. However, if you have reoccurring problems, they can be early warning signs of a vision change. If your lens and cornea fail to focus, it then forces the muscles that move your eyes to work twice as hard. The result might be eye strains, which lead to headaches. If you continuously work under overly bright or dim lights and frequently stare at computer screens, remember to take hourly breaks to give your eyes time to rest.
Obstructed Vision, Floaters, Flashes
When you see floaters or light flashes in your vision, this can signal a severe eye disease such as a retinal rupture, detachment, or a hole.
Small bumps that move in your field of vision are called floaters; they are misleading because they often appear to be part of what you see outside your eye when they are actually floating within your sight.
Leading Causes of Visual Impairment
Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)
AMD is a prevalent geriatric eye condition. Because AMD destroys the macula — the retina’s center responsible for perceiving small details — patients with this illness will most likely have trouble reading and driving. There are two AMD kinds:
- Wet — blood vessels bleed and leak due to abnormal growth under the macula. It can quickly progress to a loss of central vision. When straight lines appear wavy, that is one symptom.
- Dry — the macula steadily begins to thin as time goes by and becomes a component of the aging process. Dry AMD blurs the center of your vision and is 70-90% apparent compared to wet AMD. Drusen — white or yellow deposits underneath the retina — is a common symptom affecting both eyes. Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD) can also cause dry eyes. It’s best to have your vision checked and consider MGD treatment options your doctor might suggest.
A cataract is the clouding of your eye lens and is the world’s number one blindness cause. It has no age limit, partly because it can develop at birth. There are several cataract solutions. However, frequent hurdles such as insurance absence, treatment costs, and lack of understanding can prevent patients from receiving the proper treatment.
These are the most frequent visual issues in the United States, including:
- Presbyopia — vision impairment due to age, usually at the age of 40-50. Typical symptoms are difficulties reading the letters in the phone book, keeping the newspaper away from usual, and being unable to focus closely.
- Astigmatism — distortion of sight in any distance
- Hyperopia — farsightedness
- Myopia — nearsightedness
All of these can be corrected with suitable eyeglasses or operation.
An eye examination assesses your vision and is quite thorough. An extensive eye examination can almost look like a physical one when you consider what it can detect. If you experience any of the symptoms mentioned above, it’s crucial to schedule an eye exam immediately to ensure you don’t have any severe eye disorders.