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Common Vision Problems

In an ideal world, everyone would have perfect vision. Although that's not the case, don't worry! There are some common vision problems that are correctable. You can work with your doctor to determine the best course of action to help fix your vision problems. Some problems can be corrected by using glasses or contacts, while others may require more attention.

Vision problems that can usually be corrected with glasses or contacts.

  • Presbyopia: Causes reduced ability to focus on nearby objects.
  • Astigmatism: A common, irregular curvature in the eye affecting the way light is processed, resulting in blurred vision.
  • Myopia: Also known as nearsightedness. Myopia makes it easier to see objects that are up close and more difficult to see objects that are far away.
  • Hyperopia: Also known as farsightedness. Hyperopia makes it easier to see objects that are far away and more difficult to see objects up close.

Teens and young adults.

  • Amblyopia: Commonly known as lazy eye. Amblyopia begins at a young age. One eye is favored over the other and the neglected eye does not develop properly. Because of this the eye looks "lazy" next to the eye that is properly functioning.
  • Strabismus: You might know this as crossed eyes. This happens when the muscles around the eyes don't work well together and each eye can look in different directions at the same time. When this happens, two different images are sent to the brain.
  • Color deficiency: Also known as color blindness. Despite its common name, color blindness does not mean blind at all. It is the inability to distinguish certain colors. Confusing red and green is the most common type of color deficiency.
  • Nyctalopia: Also referred to as night blindness. It is the inability to see well at night or in poor light. Although nyctalopia makes it difficult to drive at night, it is usually a symptom of another eye condition, like cataracts or nearsightedness.
  • Photophobia: Also known as light sensitivity. People with photophobia may experience headaches and eye strain when exposed to direct or bright light. Photophobia is typically a symptom of another eye condition, like inflammation of the eyes.

Common eye problems: symptoms and relief tips.

  • Dry eyes: This is a common condition that affects about 20 million Americans. Dry eyes occur when the eyes don't produce a good quality tear, causing discomfort and pain. Talk to your doctor if you think you have dry eyes. Your doctor will help answer questions and advise you on how to fix dry eyes. In the meantime, there are some steps you can take to help ease the discomfort. Below are some key dry eye relief tips that will help soothe your eyes:
    • Use a humidifier to add moisture to dry air.
    • Check to see if any medications you are using cause dry eyes. You can work with your doctor to change your prescription or your doctor can recommend eye drops to keep your eyes lubricated.
    • Make sure to take breaks when you have to look at a computer screen for an extended period of time.
    • Avoid wearing contacts for too long and keep contacts clean. Always wash your hands before handling contacts.
  • Itchy watery eyes: There are a lot of reasons your eyes may feel itchy and watery. Some of the most common causes of itchy and watery eyes are:
    • Conjunctivitis: You may know this as pink eye. Conjunctivitis is an infection of the conjunctiva. Conjunctivitis symptoms are typically redness in the eye, itching and pain. Common causes of pink eye, or conjunctivitis, can be due to bacteria, viruses or allergies. Overnight, bacterial conjunctivitis forms a crust around the eye, which makes it difficult to open your eyes when you wake up.

      Because conjunctivitis is so contagious, it is important to talk to a doctor immediately in order to keep it from spreading to others easily.
    • Allergies: Pollen, mold, dust and other environmental irritants can aggravate the eyes. Itching, redness and swelling are common allergy symptoms. Oral antihistamines may help reduce irritation. Here are some other ways to find itchy eye allergy relief:
      • Keep your house and car windows shut
      • Wear glasses and sunglasses that wrap-around to keep pollen out of your eyes
      • Talk to your doctor about either over-the-counter or prescription eye drops that can help relieve symptoms of allergies
  • Computer Vision Syndrome: There's no doubt life may have you looking at a computer screen for extended periods of time. Whether you're at work, at school, or browsing the web at home, looking at a computer screen can cause vision problems, often resulting in what we call "computer eye strain." Some vision problems brought on by Computer Vision Syndrome include dry eyes, headaches, blurred vision, eye strain, as well as neck and shoulder pain. Some of these issues may stem from the reduced blink rate people experience when looking at computer screens.

    Here are some computer vision syndrome treatments that can help combat vision problems:
    • Remember to blink: Blinking helps to clean and moisten the eye.
    • 20-20-20 Rule: Every twenty minutes, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
    • Lighting: Position your computer screen in a way that reduces or eliminates reflections from windows or overhead lights.
    • Monitor: Keep your monitor at least 20 inches away from your eyes. Make sure you monitor is big enough and the screen settings are set where they are comfortable this may mean adjusting the brightness and contrast.
    • Ergonomics: Make sure your computer monitor and desk are set up at appropriate heights at work. Ask your employer if there is someone that you can speak to about setting up your work station ergonomically
    • Computer Eyeglasses: Talk to your doctor about prescription eyeglasses that are made for viewing computer screens.

In certain states, eye exams are performed by Independent Doctors of Optometry.

The contents of this webpage are for informational purposes only and do not constitute medical or optometric advice. The information provided is not intended for the diagnosis of a medical condition and should not substitute for the advice of a qualified health provider.