Eye problems and changes in your vision often happen slowly over time, so they can be very difficult to detect. A person might find themselves simply adjusting to their failing eyesight without even realizing that they're putting themselves and others in danger when driving or working. If you haven't had your vision checked in years, consider some signs that it's time to schedule an appointment.
1. You are getting unexplained headaches
Your eyes focus by slightly changing shape, and they do this by using muscles behind the eyes. When you need to consistently strain your eyes to focus, these muscles get overworked. In turn, you may feel headaches, neck aches, and even aches around the shoulders. These headaches may start around the eye areas and be concentrated in the temples and forehead, but the pain can radiate through your entire face and upper body.
If you cannot explain these headaches as being due to allergies or stress, it's time to have your vision checked. Glasses or contact lenses can protect your eyesight but also alleviate this pain.
2. You cannot focus on road signs
Road signs should be clearly legible as you drive; they are often made to be a particular size and use a particular font so that they're easy to see even from a distance. If you find that you cannot focus on these until you're right next to them, it's time to have your vision checked. The signs themselves are not at fault, and if you ignore this problem you could become a danger when on the roads as your eyesight continues to fail.
3. You're experiencing night blindness
One common sign of failing vision is night blindness, or being unable to focus once lighting becomes dim. When driving, signs and road markers should still be obvious as these are created with reflective paint. If you struggle to drive at night or notice that you stumble around your home without bright lighting, your eyes may not be taking in enough light to focus. The right glasses or contact lenses can ensure your eyes are remaining open wide enough to keep you safe at night.
4. You notice yourself constantly squinting
You shouldn't need to constantly squint throughout the day, as your eyes should naturally focus on objects far and near. When they don't do this on their own, you need to force them to focus by squinting. If you continue to do this you can suffer from eyestrain, headaches, and blurred vision. You may also cause premature wrinkles around your eyes! Get your vision checked and get a good pair of glasses or contact lenses instead.
If you've had good vision until this time, you may be curious or confused about the process of getting checked for glasses. Contact an optometrist such as Jeffrey C. Fogt, OD to get started.