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Warning Signs of Poor Vision

Poor vision in adults or children can be caused by several possible conditions such as changes in the body or in the eye or visual system, eye diseases, side effects of medicine or injury. Commonly, people also report visual abnormalities due to aging or eye stress. Aging and stress can lead to changes in your eyesight, which can cause pain and even make it harder to perform daily activities, like 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 struggling with close and far distances.

Blurred vision is one of the most common signs of a vision problem. If you report blurred vision when you are focusing on faraway objects, you could be myopic or nearsighted. Blurred vision that's present when you are looking at objects close by could mean you suffer from farsightedness, or hyperopia. It can also be a symptom of astigmatism due to an irregularity in the shape of the cornea. Whatever the cause of blurry vision, it's vital to have your eye doctor examine your eyes and decide on the best way to improve your sight.

A sudden onset of flashes of light, often combined with floating black spots and the sensation of a dark curtain blocking a section of your vision indicates the possibility of what's known as a retinal detachment. If this is the case, make an appointment to see your eye doctor as soon as you can, as it can have severe consequences.

Another common warning sign of a vision problem is trouble distinguishing different colors or brightness of color. This is an indication of a color perception problem, or color blindness. Interestingly, this condition is often not known to the patient until diagnosed by testing. Color blindness is mainly found in males. If a woman has difficulty seeing color it could represent ocular disease, and an eye care professional should be consulted. For those who have difficulty distinguishing objects in low light, it is a sign of possible night blindness.

Cataracts, a condition frequently seen aging people can have several telltale signs including: blurry sight that weakens in bright light, weak night vision, trouble seeing small writing or details, colors that appear faded or yellowed, improvement in near vision but a decline in distance vision, inflammation around the eye, and an opaque white appearance 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 indicators of glaucoma, a serious medical condition, which requires prompt medical attention.

With younger patients, it's useful to keep an eye out for weak eye movement, or eyes that cross in or out, which may indicate a vision problem called strabismus. Some behavior, like rubbing one or both eyes, squinting, or needing to close one eye in order to see things better, often point to strabismus.

Though some conditions may be more serious than others, anything that restricts normal sight can be something that compromises your quality of life. A brief visit to your optometrist can save you from being avoidably uncomfortable, not to mention even more severe eye damage.