Some people start wearing glasses from the time they’re small children while others only develop problems as they creep up in years. According to estimates, around half of Americans use some sort of corrective lenses and many millions more need them. While it might seem obvious to get your vision checked out if you’re having problems seeing, there’s a good number of people who have had poor vision for so long they don’t realize that their quality of life would improve with some form of vision correction. Others may be nervous because they’ve never had problems before or they’re worried about what they look like with glasses.
There are several different types of vision problems that people can have, including nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. Regardless of what type of vision problem it might be, as soon as you notice things changing in your vision, it’s time to visit and eye doctor because, left untreated, there could be serious damage. What types of changes will depend on the individual, but here are a few indicators that you might need to get glasses.
Frequent Headaches/Eye Strain/Eye Fatigue
One of the big indicators that someone might need eyeglasses is having frequent headaches, the result of eye strain, or asthenopia. Having frequent headaches doesn’t necessarily mean that one needs eyeglasses, of course. There are plenty of tasks that might strain one’s eyes and cause headaches. People spending long periods of time looking at computer screens or video monitors, straining to see in low light, or exposure to extreme brightness or glare can all cause the same problems. If the person isn’t straining their eyes excessively doing one of these tasks, the headaches may be a sign of an underlying eye problem or eye muscle imbalance that requires corrective lenses.
Difficulty seeing is a pretty clear indicator that you could need glasses. While having difficulty seeing might seem clean cut, there are different forms of vision impairment and what type of difficulty indicates what kind of vision problem it is. People who have problems seeing objects far away have a condition called myopia, or nearsightedness.
Those with nearsightedness will have a prescription that contains a negative sign (i.e. -2.50) since the eye’s power is being decreased for them to see far away. The condition is important to get corrected as it may develop into a lazy eye, particularly in young people.
In converse, a person who has problems seeing up close, perhaps when they’re reading, would have hyperopia, or farsightedness. Someone with hyperopia that goes untreated is likely to develop symptoms like headaches or eye fatigue.
Blurry Vision and Other Signs of Presbyopia
Many adults, starting around the age of forty, find themselves having blurry vision at times, holding items at an arm’s length to read them, or having problems seeing objects that are close. These are some clear indicators that the person is having vision problems due to a condition called presbyopia. The condition affects people who have never had eye problems and life-time eyeglass wearers alike. Presbyopia is simply part of many people’s aging process, a gradual thickening and loss of flexibility of the eye’s natural lens. It is most often corrected by the use of bifocal or progressive addition lenses; surgery is also an available option.
Liskula Cohen is a Canadian-born former model who has worked in New York, Paris, Milan, Tokyo, and Sydney, among other cities. She is the founder and blog editor of Front Row Eyewear. Find Liskula on Twitter: @Liskula