Many people don't realize they have a vision problem. Perhaps they've gone years without glasses and haven't noticed the gradual change in their vision. Or they’ve noticed a change, but put off a visit to an eye doctor. Regardless of whether you’re experiencing problems, make an appointment with Dr. Michael Gowen to maintain your eye health.
There are many clues that your eyesight needs correcting, such as struggling to read up close, or having trouble seeing street signs, or barely deciphering faces while watching a film. If you're still not sure you need glasses, consider these 6 questions.
Are You Frequently Squinting and/or Experiencing Headaches?
Unless it's unusually bright, there's no reason to be squinting if your vision is clear. Although squinting may briefly enhance your eyes’ ability to focus, if done for too long it can tax your eyes and surrounding muscles, which can result in frequent headaches.
If you have to squint while working on your computer or using digital devices, you may be experiencing not only headaches but also digital eye strain or computer vision syndrome. The cure is often a pair of computer glasses, or blue light glasses, which are designed to block out or filter blue light. This can reduce headaches and squinting when using your digital devices.
Are You Struggling to See Up Close?
If the texts on your phone or restaurant menu look blurry, you may be farsighted. While reading glasses are a great option for near tasks, you’ll need to take them off for other activities. Consider getting progressive lenses, which change gradually from point to point on the lens, providing the exact lens power needed for seeing objects clearly at any distance. Progressive lenses help you comfortably see near, far, and in-between all day long.
Do You Struggle to See Things at a Distance?
If you’re having difficulty seeing objects at a distance, you may be myopic (nearsighted). Myopia is the most common cause of impaired vision in children and young adults. Consider a pair of glasses with high-index lenses, which are thinner and lighter than other lenses, along with anti-reflective coating.
Do You Have Blurred Vision at Night?
Are objects or signs more blurry at night? Do you experience halos or glare around lights while driving at night? These may be symptoms of a vision issue, such as myopia — though they can also be attributed to more serious ocular conditions, such as cataracts and glaucoma. To know the cause, get your eyes properly evaluated by Dr. Michael Gowen.
If determined that it is indeed myopia, consider getting prescription glasses with anti-glare or anti-reflective (AR) coating, as they allow more light in and also cut down on glare. This can dramatically improve night vision and help you see more clearly when driving at night.
Are You Experiencing Double Vision?
If you've been experiencing double vision, contact Dr. Michael Gowen, who will get to the root of the problem and provide you with a diagnosis. Double vision may be due to crossed eyes (strabismus), or a corneal irregularity, such as keratoconus, or another medical condition.
If you are diagnosed with any of these, you’ll likely need a pair of glasses with a prism correction that helps correct alignment issues. Special lenses prevent you from seeing double by combining two images into a single one.
However, note that if you experience sudden double vision, it may be a medical emergency that should be checked by an eye doctor immediately.
Are You Losing Your Place or Using Your Finger When Reading?
If you're frequently losing your spot or skipping lines when reading, you may have a vision problem. This could be due to strabismus, lazy eye, or astigmatism.
The Importance of Regular Eye Exams
If you're experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, it is essential to have a highly qualified optometrist examine your eyes to assess your vision and check for any eye diseases — and to do so as soon as possible. This is the only way to determine whether you need glasses or if something else is causing the problem.
Even if you’re not experiencing any symptoms, it's important to routinely get your eyes checked. Many eye diseases can be effectively treated before you notice major problems, so regular eye exams are important to maintain eye health. Contact EYES on Main in Blacksburg to make an appointment with Dr. Michael Gowen. The sooner you get your vision checked, the faster you'll be able to see clearly and enjoy a higher quality of life.