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How do I Know if I Need Spectacles?

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  • Written By: J.M. Densing
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 30 September 2016
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The best way to tell if you need spectacles, or eyeglasses, is to get an eye exam from a qualified optometrist or ophthalmologist. An eye doctor can detect changes in your eyes that you may not notice, so you should have them examined on a regular basis. Between regular exams, there are some signs that may indicate you need spectacles. A few of these are blurred vision, needing to hold reading material closer or farther away, watery eyes, frequent headaches, increased sensitivity to light, and seeing "floating spots." These symptoms can indicate a variety of vision conditions that may require the use of eyeglasses.

Your vision is a vital sense that affects daily functioning, and the number one way to know if you need spectacles is to have your eyes examined by a qualified, experienced eye doctor. Experts recommend that most people have their eyes examined about once a year. It's important to have an eye exam on a regular basis in order to detect emerging problems in the early stages so they can be treated promptly. Often, vision changes happen in a very slow, gradual manner that is virtually unnoticeable. Although an eye doctor can detect these early changes, the person experiencing them often has no idea that his or her vision is altered.

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In addition to having regularly scheduled eye exams, there are symptoms you can be aware of that can indicate a need for spectacles. If you experience any of these symptoms on a recurring basis, it's a good idea to have your eyes checked right away, regardless of when your last eye exam was performed. Appropriate vision correction with spectacles can often improve your daily functioning.

One obvious symptom is blurred vision, which can be a symptom of a variety of problems. If things appear blurry when they are close and you find yourself holding reading materials closer, you may be far-sighted. If blurring occurs when you try to focus on items that are far away, near-sightedness may be the problem. If things look blurry at all distances, or only parts of images are blurred, you may have a condition called astigmatism, which means that the cornea has an irregular shape. All of these issues can be corrected with spectacles.

There are also several other signs of eye strain that may indicate a need for spectacles. This includes frequent headaches, watery eyes, increased sensitivity to light, and seeing "floating spots" in your field of vision. These symptoms are all indications of difficulty focusing the eyes. This can occur from several conditions including near-sightedness, far-sightedness, and astigmatism, but it may also indicate more serious issues. With a thorough eye examination, your eye doctor should be able to diagnose the problem and correct your vision in most cases.

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