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5 Ways to Know if You Need Glasses

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The human eye is an amazing organ. It’s like a camera constantly capturing the world around us. But sometimes, the eye can develop conditions or vision problems that can mess with how this camera works. While many of these problems can be fixed with the help of an eye doctor, it can be difficult to tell if you need glasses—especially if you’ve never needed them before. 

You may need glasses if:

  1. You have blurry vision
  2. You get headaches often
  3. You get eye strain
  4. You have poor night vision
  5. You have another vision problem

1. Blurry Vision

One of the easiest-to-recognize signs that you might need glasses is blurry vision. Blurry vision can be caused by many different eye conditions, but there are 4 common refractive errors that are often the cause:

  • Myopia, or nearsightedness, where nearby objects are clear but get blurry the further they are from the eye
  • Hyperopia, or farsightedness, where distant objects are clear, but nearby objects are blurry
  • Astigmatism, where objects at various distances are blurry, and it can be difficult to see at night
  • Presbyopia, an age-related change in the eye that can make it hard to see nearby objects or change how your eye focuses

Fortunately, all of these can be corrected with a pair of eyeglasses or contacts. However, it’s important to note that those 4 situations aren’t the only cause of blurry vision. When you can’t see clearly, it’s an indication that something’s wrong with the eye, so if you develop blurry vision, you should visit your optometrist for a comprehensive eye exam.

Close-up of a woman holding a hand to her forehead, covering her face.

2. Headaches

Our visual system is an unbelievably complex network. Light enters through the clear front part of the eye, refracts to a certain point, gets sent through the optic nerve, and eventually reaches the brain. It’s all a complicated and interconnected system.

But when your eyes have to work harder than usual, this system gets put under strain. It can often lead to headaches, especially when you’re focusing intensely on things for a while. If you experience headaches when you’re reading, using screens, or focusing on anything intensely, it may be a sign that your visual system is working too hard, and you might need a pair of glasses.

3. Eye Strain

If you’ve ever focused on something for a long period of time and noticed that your eyes feel heavy, tired, or sore, you’ve likely dealt with eye strain. Often called digital eye strain or computer vision syndrome, this is caused by the eyes focusing for too long. It’s a sign that they need a break. Making some adjustments can help relieve your symptoms:

  • Take regular breaks and follow the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, try to look at something roughly 20 feet away for 20 seconds. It helps your eyes reorient themselves and gives them a quick rest.
  • Adjust the lighting in your environment.
  • Optimize your workspace so it’s comfortable.
  • Change your screen settings and match lighting to your environment.

If you notice you still have eye strain after making these adjustments, visit your optometrist to get your eyes checked. You may need glasses.

4. Poor Night Vision

As we get older, our eyes undergo plenty of changes. And some of these changes can start to affect our vision—especially at night. If you notice you’re starting to have problems seeing clearly in low-light conditions or driving at night, you might be experiencing a decline in your night vision.

This can be caused by:

  • Presbyopia, an age-related change in the eye
  • Cataracts, the clouding of the eye’s natural lens
  • Vitamin deficiencies
  • Diabetes

It’s important to schedule a comprehensive eye exam if you’re starting to experience problems seeing in low-light conditions, as treatment will vary depending on the cause. Early intervention can make a big difference in treating several eye conditions!

5. Another Vision Problem

If you’re experiencing any other issues with your vision, book a visit with us at Eye Care Center of Colorado Springs. Our team is dedicated to diagnosing and treating eye conditions, and we have plenty of eyeglasses frames and contact lens types to choose from. Your eyes will thank you!

Written by Dr. Sara Johnson

Dr. Sara Whitney graduated with a B.S. in Biochemistry from Rockford College in Rockford, IL and received her Doctor of Optometry degree from Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, TN. As an optometry student, Dr. Whitney completed a primary care externship in Wilmington, NC, and a hospital-based rotation at the Naval Health Clinic of Corpus Christi in Corpus Christi, TX. Dr. Whitney has cared for patients as an optometrist in the Colorado Springs area since May of 2009. She has experience in family eye care, including pediatric eye examination, adult eye care, treatment and management of ocular disease, contact lens fitting, and eye surgery co-management. Colorado State licensed and certified in ocular pharmaceutical agents, Dr. Whitney’s training and experience allow her to diagnose, treat, and manage or co-manage all eye conditions. Professional memberships include the American Optometric Association, Colorado Optometric Association, and Southern Colorado Optometric Society.
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