Do I Need Glasses? Watch for These Signs

  • BY Matt Souza

do i need eyeglasses
Is your face within a few inches of the computer screen? Are you squinting to try and see better? Do you have trouble reading street signs while driving? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, chances are good that you need glasses.

As a rule of thumb, it’s generally a good idea to see an eye doctor if you experience any change in your vision at all. But to help make the decision easier, we’ve put together a list below of some of the most common signs you need glasses.

Red Flags For Your Vision

It’s difficult to see things that are far away
If you need to sit close to the TV to see it, or are having trouble reading street signs, chances are you need glasses. Additionally, if you’re noticing friends can clearly see distant objects that you’re missing that’s a red flag as well.

Eye strain or tired eyes that happens after extended periods
If you find yourself squinting or blinking during a long road trip or after too much time with your eyes glued to a smartphone, it might be time to see your eye doctor. While uncomfortable, eye strain doesn’t actually lead to long-term vision damage, but it may indicate you need glasses to help alleviate some of the eye stress.

Frequent headaches
Headaches caused by overexertion of the eyes, especially from staring at a computer screen or focusing on one object for extended periods of time, are a common problem. If you’re getting repeated headaches, combined with squinting and tired eyes, it might be time for glasses.

Recurring experiences of distorted or double vision
Seeing double or noticing shadows around objects and text could mean there are problems with your eye muscles and how they function. It may also be a symptom of astigmatism that causes objects to appear distorted, almost as if looking into a funhouse mirror.

Struggling to see at night or experiencing trouble when adapting from dark to light areas
These are also key indicators that it’s time to make an appointment with an eye care professional. A common sign is seeing halos of light around headlights or light bulbs. Diminished night vision can signal that you may be nearsighted or have astigmatism, or you might have issues with contrast. These signs can also be related to cataracts or other effects of aging.

Your parents use glasses or contacts
Genetics is yet another factor in determining whether or not you’ll need glasses. Poor eyesight can definitely be hereditary. A child with a nearsighted parent, for instance, is much more likely to be nearsighted herself.

The Most Common Issues With Eyesight

Myopia, also known as nearsightedness, is a condition that causes distant objects to appear blurry. If the cornea or if the eyeball is too long, the eye can’t correctly focus light, resulting in blurriness of faraway objects . Myopia is typically passed down through generations and can either develop quickly or gradually over time.

Hyperopia, or farsightedness, is when a person can easily see faraway objects, but struggles to focus on things. A farsighted person will usually squint or feel eyestrain while reading, writing, or or using the computer for long periods of time.

Astigmatism is a condition that is more common than people think. . Having an astigmatism basically means the eye’s shape isn’t perfectly round. This can cause light to enter the eye and bend unevenly, making objects at a distance and near appear wavy, slanted, or out of focus.

Presbyopia is similar to hyperopia in how it affects vision for objects up close; it usually is a result of aging and occurs in those age 40 and up. Sufferers of presbyopia may need to hold reading material at arm’s length or further to see the words clearly.

The Need for Regular Eye Exams

Should you experience any overall changes in your vision, see an optometrist or ophthalmologist as soon as possible. The key to correcting your vision comes from regular checkups and preventive measures.

Don’t have an eye doctor? It’s easy to find one. In addition to walking into a local eye doctor’s clinic, you can:

  • Search the web – most clinics have websites that describe their services and some will even let you book an appointment.
  • Check for in-network providers covered by your vision insurance.
  • Call your local university or hospital to locate a provider.
  • Locate a nearby optometry school, which generally provides eye exams at reasonable costs to the public.

To determine whether you need an optometrist or require an opthamologist, check out our Ask the Optician post. If you want to know what to expect from your eye exam, we answer questions here about everything from dilation to getting your prescription before you leave. Finally, check out this post for more information on identifying whether or not your child needs glasses.

Once your eye care specialist completes a comprehensive examination and provides a written prescription for glasses, check out Zenni’s massive selection of stylish and affordable frames. The faster you have your vision diagnosed, the quicker Zenni can help you look good while seeing more clearly.