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Walter Shurminsky O.D.

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When to Get Your Vision Checked

Poor vision in adults or children can be the result of a few conditions such as changes in the body or in the eye or visual system, eye diseases, side effects of medication or eye injuries. Many people also suffer from visual disturbances due to aging or eye strain. This can cause changes in your vision, which might sometimes cause pain and even make it harder to perform everyday activities such as reading fine print or working on a computer for long periods. Common signs and symptoms of such vision problems include blurry vision, headaches, eye strain, squinting and trouble seeing from short or long distances.

One of the first signs of a vision problem can be blurred vision. If you have blurred vision when you're looking at distant objects, you might be myopic or nearsighted. If you suffer from blurred vision when you're looking at something close by it could mean you suffer from farsightedness, or hyperopia. It can also be a symptom of astigmatism because of a flaw in the way the cornea is formed. In all cases of blurry vision, it is vital that an optometrist examine your eyes and decide on the most effective way to improve your sight.

Another common warning sign of a vision problem is the inability to distinguish between shades or brightness of color. This generally means the patient has color blindness. Interestingly, this condition is usually not known to the patient until discovered by testing. Color blindness is generally something that affects males. If a woman has difficulty seeing color it could indicate ocular disease, in which case, an optometrist should be consulted. If you have difficulty distinguishing objects in dim light, it could mean the patient suffers from night blindness.

A problem commonly found in aging patients is cataracts, which have a number of indicating signs which include: blurry vision that is worse in bright light, trouble seeing in the dark or reduced light, trouble discerning small writing or details, the need for brighter light when reading, unexpected improvement in near vision but a decline in distance vision, inflammation of the eye, and a pale look to the normally dark pupil.

Pulsing eye pain, headaches, blurry sight, inflammation in the eye, rainbow rings around lights, nausea and vomiting are also signs of glaucoma, a serious medical illness, which requires medical attention.

When it comes to children, it's useful to look out for weak eye movement, or eyes that cross in or out, which may indicate a vision problem called strabismus. Some things children might do, such as rubbing eyes, squinting, head tilting, or needing to close one eye to see things better, often point to strabismus.

If you have any of the symptoms listed here, visit your eye doctor as soon as possible. While clearly some conditions could be more problematic than others, anything that restricts good vision will be something that really affects your quality of life. A short appointment with your optometrist can save you from unnecessary discomfort, not to mention further eye and vision damage.

COVID-19 Update: Our office will be reopening for routine eye care on Monday, June 1, 2020. Appointments will be limited at first so call or schedule using our online scheduler.

For a list of updated COVID-19 protocols and procedures that we are implementing in our office for your safety as well as the safety of our staff, click here.