Poor vision in adults or children can be the result of a few conditions including anatomical changes or abnormalities in the eye or visual system, diseases affecting the eye, side effects of medication or eye injuries. Many people also experience visual abnormalities resulting from aging or eye strain. This can cause changes in your eyesight, which might cause discomfort and even make it harder to perform everyday activities such as reading fine print or working on a computer for extended periods of time. These vision problems can be expressed via the following symptoms: eye strain, headache, blurred vision, squinting and problems seeing at close and far distances.
One of the first signs of a vision problem can be blurred vision. If you report blurred vision when you are looking at faraway objects, you could have myopia, or be nearsighted. Blurred vision that's present when you are looking at anything close by could mean you suffer from farsightedness, or hyperopia. Blurred vision can also be a sign of astigmatism due to an abnormality in the way the cornea is formed, or the curvature of the lens inside the eye. Whatever the cause of blurry vision, it's vital that an eye doctor examine your eyes and prescribe a solution to help clarify your sight.
Sudden flashes of light, sometimes coupled with black floating spots and the feeling of a dark curtain inhabiting a section of your vision indicates the chance of a retinal detachment. In this case, see your eye doctor promptly, as it can have severe consequences.
Another common warning sign of a vision problem is trouble distinguishing different colors or intensity of color. This is an indication of a color perception problem, or color blindness. Color vision defects are generally unknown to the patient until proven via a consultation. Color blindness is mainly found in males. If a woman has problems seeing color it may represent ocular disease, in which case, an optometrist needs to be consulted. If you can't see objects in low light, it could mean the patient suffers from night blindness.
A condition frequently seen in elderly patients is cataracts, which have several indicating signs including: blurry sight that is worse in bright light, weak night vision, trouble seeing small writing or details, the need for brighter light when reading, improvement in near vision while distance vision worsens, painful inflammation around the eye, and a milky white appearance to the usually dark pupil.
Pulsing eye pain, headaches, unclear vision, inflammation in the eye, rainbow coronas around lights, nausea and vomiting are also signs of glaucoma, an acute medical condition, which requires prompt medical attention.
With younger patients, it's useful to keep an eye out for weak eye movement, or crossed eyes, which could indicate a vision problem known as strabismus. Certain things children might do, such as rubbing eyes, squinting, head tilting, or needing to close one eye in order to see things better, often indicate this issue.
Though some conditions could be more severe than others, any disruption to normal eyesight can be something that compromises your quality of life. A quick consultation with your optometrist can prevent unnecessary discomfort, or further eye damage.