In this day and age, with so many screens to stare at, stress, falling diet quality, pollution and so many other similar factors (including genetics), eyes are hit just as hard as other parts of the body. The problem is, we rarely recognise it and may put off going to an ophthalmologist till the problem has a reached a point of aggravation that could have been avoided with a little bit of foresight.
Here is a really quick guide that will help you figure out that the time has come to read those famous alphabets that you see in an eye specialist’s clinic:
- The most common eye problems are nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism and presbyopia. The next person you meet probably has one of these conditions.
- If lines on a book appear even a bit blurred and you have to move the book further away, you probably have presbyopia. It is the reason we need reading (plus) glasses as we age.
- Can’t read a billboard with ease? You have nearsightedness or myopia.
- Are objects close to you or far away a bit blurry? You probably may be at the first stage of astigmatism.
- As it gets dark, and you have a tougher time seeing, it is not just the darkness.
- Everybody has that moment of ‘blindness’ when you walk into a dark theatre. But if you take a little too long to adjust to the dark after walking in from the light, you need to see a doc. What’s the thumb rule? If even after 5-6 minutes you can’t adjust, it might be a symptom.
- Do you have to strain while working on a computer? Your eye muscles may not be functioning optimally. If you feel serious eye fatigue, you would be better served by an ophthalmologist.
- Get headaches too often? More often than not, it indicates eye trouble.
- Seeing double (even when you aren’t drunk)? Go see an eye doctor.
- When you look at a light bulb (or any light source), do you see a halo? If you do, your guardian angel just might be an ophthalmologist.
When it comes to kids, here are some visual cues that they might need help:
Kids have eye problems too and they have a hard time explaining what they are going through. Here’ what you should look out for:
- They tilt their head too often.
- Cover an eye to read or watch television.
- Skip lines while reading almost always.
- They rub their eyes too often or squint every other moment.
- Complain of frequent headaches.
- Have watery or dry eyes.
- Academic performance of the child has suddenly fallen below average (you need to talk this one out with the child first. It could also be mental stress/ depression triggered by something else.)
- Can’t play with as much confidence as other kids, though in the past such a sport was not as much of a challenge? It could be the kid’s eyes.
Do these tests and see how your eyes are holding up:
The Book Test: Do you have to hold a book farther away than the normal 12 inches?
The Touchpad Test: Is your typing on the phone touchpad going haywire almost always? Do you continually type ‘U’ instead of ‘Y’?
Needle Test: Can you thread a needle without any trouble?
Drawing Test: Can you draw without straining your eyes?
If you failed these tests or feel most of the symptoms that we have just described, you need an ophthalmologist. You could find the right one at http://www.savetime.com