For people who have use of all five of their senses, sight is often the primary. Visual information is clear, direct, and detailed. Although it is possible to live a full life without a sense of sight, making the transition from perfect vision to limited vision after an illness or accident can be challenging. That’s why prevention is so important when it comes to your eye health. Noticing the early signs of vision problems could save a lot of trouble down the line. Here are 4 signs of vision problems to watch out for and what they could mean.
4) Blurred Vision
This one is a no-brainer, as focus is one of the most obvious indicators of vision problems. While blurred vision can be the temporary result of several hours spent on the computer or a night of drinking, it can also be a sign of more serious problems. If you experience blurred vision at any distance have your eyes examined right away as this could be a sign of astigmatism. If things appear blurry only at a specific distance, it is more likely you are near-sighted or far-sighted. The underlying cause of astigmatism is unknown but it occurs when the curve of the cornea becomes distorted. It is quite common and usually corrected with glasses or contact lenses, although laser surgery is also an option for some people.
Headaches, especially in the temples and the area around the eyes may be a sign that you’re looking at screens too much or for too long. Regular, prolonged exposure to LCD screens can cause these headaches to become more severe and may increase the frequency of headaches even when you aren’t looking at a screen. Unfortunately, we have not yet developed screen technology that is one hundred percent healthy for our eyes, so the only way to combat what optometrists have dubbed “Computer Vision Syndrome” is to limit your screen time. Always take regular breaks when working at the computer, scrolling through social media on your phone, or binge watching your favourite show. Avoid using smaller screens whenever possible and opt for larger screens. One helpful tip is to plug your desktop or laptop computer into a larger screen like an HD television or a projector. Larger screens won’t make a huge difference, but being able to sit farther away from the screen will take some of the strain off of your eyes. Turning down the brightness can minimise discomfort too.
2) Dry, Itchy, Or Burning Eyes
An itchy, burning sensation in the eyes is usually a symptom of allergies, but if you are a person who doesn’t experience allergies, or if your eyes are burning even though you have not been exposed to an allergen, you may have Meibomian Gland Dysfunction. The Meibomian glands are located in the eyelids and are responsible for secreting oils which coat the eye and keep moisture from evaporating too quickly. When these glands become clogged with oil or dirt, they can no longer protect the eye’s moisture, resulting in dryness and a burning sensation. Fortunately, Meibomian Gland Dysfunction is easily treated by your optometrist.
1) Strange Light Effects
If you see halos or rainbows around lights especially at night, get your eyes checked ASAP. These “night halos” may be a sign of glaucoma. If you are seeing rainbows or a colourful haze in the daytime, it could be a sign of cataracts. These rainbow symptoms are caused by warping of the cornea, which causes light to refract as it enters the eye.