Written By Anita Ginsburg / Reviewed By Ray Spotts
As you get older, your body changes. Some of these changes are obvious. Your joints may start to crack when you stand up or sit down. You might find that you’re not as flexible as you were when you were younger, and you might find a few new wrinkles.
Some changes are a little less obvious, though. They come on so gradually that you might go years before really noticing them. A common one of these changes is a decline in your vision.
While a slight reduction in visual acuity is expected, often people don’t notice the effect aging is having on their eyes until the changes in their eyesight are fairly advanced. However, if you pay attention, you can find signs that help you recognize your changing vision early. By visiting an eye doctor quickly, you can slow down vision deterioration.
Here are subtle signs that indicate it’s time to visit the eye doctor.
One symptom that’s typically associated with poor eyesight is headaches. Headaches can be caused by a variety of things, including things as simple as mild dehydration or neck strain, so it’s easy to shrug them off as nothing.
However, when you start having frequent headaches, it could be a sign that your eyesight is starting to deteriorate. Headaches associated eye strain are a benign condition that happens from overuse, though they certainly don’t feel benign. In fact, if you’re straining to see or read things too much, your headache may even turn into a migraine.
Eye strain is most likely to happen if you work on a computer or read with inadequate lighting for extended periods of time. Simply getting glasses or contacts with an updated eye prescription should help these headaches go away.
Pain might not be a subtle sign, but it is still one that people often ignore for a while. While occasional eye irritation is usually nothing to be concerned about, persistent or worsening eye pain needs checked out.
Although it isn’t always, eye pain can be a symptom of a stye, glaucoma, uveitis, or optic neuritis. These issues become more common as you age. While a stye and optic neuritis may go away on their own over time, your eye doctor can help you figure out if it’s a more serious condition or requires medical attention.
Although these eye conditions are more prevalent among elderly people, you should still visit your eye doctor if symptoms persist or continue to get worse over time.
A habit that many people do when they’re having trouble seeing is squinting. Because you are focused on what’s in front of you, you might not even notice you’re squinting. Others around you may have to point the issue out to you. Even people with perfect eyesight do this every so often, but if you find yourself doing this more often, you may have a problem.
If your eyesight is deteriorating in one eye more than the other, you might close one eye to read things. Again, because it’s an instinctive adjustment, it might be something you don’t even notice at first.
Squinting could be a sign that you are farsighted, which means you cannot see objects that are close to your face, such as when you’re reading or using your phone. This is very common in older adults, so be sure to watch out for it.
If you experience visual problems, the first step is visiting an eye care center. An eye center can both diagnose problems with your vision and offer viable solutions. With proper examination, an eye center can determine if you need glasses to correct your vision, if you have an eye infection, or if you have a more serious condition like cataracts or glaucoma.
Just like an annual physical, you also need to schedule regular eye exams, especially as you age. This is important even if you’ve never had any eye problems in your life. If you notice a change in your vision, contact an eye specialist for a consultation.
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Anita Ginsburg is a freelance writer from Denver, Colo. She studied at Colorado State University, and now writes articles about health, business, family and finance. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family whenever she isn't writing. You can follow her on Twitter @anitaginsburg.
Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.