Be Aware: Top 5 Signs Our Loved Ones May Have Vision Challenges

Posted by: Missouri Eye Institute in Blog on May 18, 2023

Shifts or disruptions in vision could signal not just changes in the eye itself but could also be the first indications of underlying health conditions (some potentially serious ones). By watching out for changes in ourselves and those we love, we can help each other recognize subtle and not-so-subtle symptoms that indicate problems we need to address.

Not sure what to look for? Here are five signs that someone you know could be struggling with poor eyesight.

  1. Blinking and squinting

If Mom or Dad suddenly has trouble focusing, even with the aid of prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses, something is not working. You may notice them squinting while they read or blinking in an effort to clear their eyes. Ask how long it has been since their last eye exam. If it has been more than six months, it is possible their prescription is out of date.

  1. Viewing too close

This is an easy sign to spot. We have all seen our siblings and children huddled directly in front of a television, computer screen or smartphone. It may merely be a bad habit, but if it’s a new development, your loved one may be struggling with near vision.

Farsightedness (hyperopia) is a common refractive error in which the eyes have difficulty focusing on close objects. It occurs in all ages, but an age-related version of farsightedness – presbyopia – also happens to many people over the age of 40.

  1. Withdrawing from activities

It is common for people to resist asking for assistance when everyday tasks become difficult. This is why individuals experiencing deteriorating eyesight may seem to drop off the radar for no obvious reason. They may be afraid to drive or embarrassed when they can’t quickly recognize faces like before. You may also notice that they’ve set aside hobbies they used to enjoy, like knitting, reading or games.

  1. Eye changes

Sudden changes to one or both eyes should never be ignored. If your favorite aunt’s irises have gone from brown to blue, or Grandpa has a noticeable eyelid droop (ptosis), get it checked out pronto. These types of changes can signal underlying health conditions, some of which are serious.

  1. More frequent injuries

Do you have friends or family with diabetes? Pay attention to new bruises, scrapes or broken toes. An uptick in injuries could be significant in someone who is not normally accident prone. Blurry vision, blind spots or a loss of peripheral vision could be the result of diabetic retinopathy, a sight-stealing complication of diabetes.

While some people may have stable eyesight for years, others may experience more frequent changes. No matter how recently a loved one has seen an eye doctor, encourage them to make an appointment if they have sudden or noticeable fluctuations in vision. The precaution could improve their vision or even their quality of life.

Missouri Eye Institute has helped thousands of patients attain freedom from glasses and contact lenses. Contact us at (800) 383-3831 to schedule a thorough eye exam or visit to learn more about our services.


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