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Understanding Vision Problems -- Symptoms

What Are the Symptoms of Various Vision Problems?

Below are common symptoms associated with each eye problem.

Nearsightedness: Blurred vision that's worse when you are looking at distant objects suggests that you may be nearsighted, or myopic. People with myopia often have very good near vision.

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Farsightedness: Blurred vision that's present when you are looking at near objects or, more commonly, near and far objects indicates that you may be farsighted, or hyperopic.

Astigmatism: Blurry vision can occur at any distance and usually coincides with discovery of other vision problems.

Retinal detachment: An abrupt onset of flashing lights, often in combination with black floating spots in your vision, possibly combined with the sensation of a dark curtain or veil blocking a portion of your vision, suggests retinal detachment. Cover each eye separately and compare the sight in each eye.

Color blindness: Difficulty distinguishing shades or intensity of color may suggest a color perception problem. Color vision defects are usually not known to the patient until discovered on testing, and it is mainly a condition in males.

Night blindness: Difficulty distinguishing objects in dim light is a sign of possible night blindness.

Cataracts: Because cataract development is usually a gradual process, your first symptom may be trouble passing the vision test when renewing your driver's license, or it may be identified during a routine eye exam. Symptoms include:

  • Hazy vision that might be worse in bright light
  • Weaker vision at night; difficulty in discerning movements, details, or objects (especially street signs)
  • Blinding or uncomfortable glare from automobile headlights or bright sunlight
  • A need for brighter light for reading
  • Colors appearing faded or yellowed
  • Double or triple vision (overlapping images) in one eye only
  • A milky white or opaque appearance to the normally dark pupil (advanced case)
  • Painful inflammation and pressure within the eye (very advanced case)

Strabismus: Eyes don't move together in a coordinated pattern or may be crossed inward or outward. Young children with vision problems such as this may rub one or both eyes frequently and may squint, tilt their heads, or close one eye in order to see things better.

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