An increased loss in vision often sneaks up on someone. Like many others, you probably unconsciously compensate in ways like squinting or moving closer to something to read it. But as the effort to see becomes more noticeable or inconvenient, you may start wondering if you need glasses.

Only an exam by an eye doctor can give you a definite answer. The exam usually starts with measuring how clearly you can see, and additional testing includes checking your peripheral vision and the overall health of your eyes. There are a few common indicators that often mean you should visit an eye doctor.

Your Eyes Feel Strained

Squinting or straining to see can overwork the muscles in your eyes. This muscle tension can be a source of frequent headaches, migraines, and eye fatigue. Glasses give your eyes a much-needed break and dramatically relieve eye strain.

Things Appear Blurry

You’re probably familiar with vision problems such as farsightedness, nearsightedness, and astigmatism. These are refraction errors due to the shape of the eye—blurry vision is the result.

Depending on which vision problem you are experiencing, you can somewhat compensate by standing closer to or further away from objects. Resting your eyes can also help for a period of time. Ultimately, however, the proper glasses prescription can correct these problems and do the work for you.

Bright Lights Are Blinding or Distracting

If you find it difficult to drive at night due to oncoming headlights or streetlights, it might be beneficial to consider glasses. Difficulty driving at night can be the result of varying vision problems including astigmatism or age-related muscle weakness. An eye exam with an optometrist can diagnose the problem and give you options for moving forward.

Additionally, seeing halos around bright lights is sometimes perfectly normal, but it’s a good idea to talk to your eye doctor to see whether eyeglasses would be the right option for you.

There’s Two of Everything

Double vision can be the result of another eye muscle problem. Squinting is one cause, while various eye diseases can also cause double vision.

Glasses can eliminate double vision for many individuals, while others may require surgery. An optometrist may also recommend eye exercises to help strengthen weakened muscles.

Glasses Won’t Help Every Type of Vision Loss

Vision loss can have many root causes, and some individuals may require medical treatment in addition to wearing glasses. If you are experiencing vision problems, visit your local optometrist or ophthalmologist to get a definitive answer about whether wearing glasses is the right step for you.

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