Have you noticed that you’re not seeing as clearly as you used to? Are your arms too short, even when fully extended, to read the newspaper? Your focusing ability, called presbyopia, changes over time and things may look more blurred and faded than they once did. Your vision can decline so slowly that you might not be aware of it and neglect to see your doctor for a prescription update.
Correcting vision problems improves more than just your ability to read and watch TV. When you wear the right glasses or contact lenses, they can help you avoid a fall or injury.
Seeing your optometric physician at least once a year for vision checks will help you stay on top of any vision problems you may have and get them corrected before they can affect your health or safety. When you get new glasses, try them out in different situations. Walk around with your glasses on and make sure your depth perception seems right. Try to read both up-close and at a distance, and confirm that you can read the letters clearly without straining.
Avoid treating your own vision loss by purchasing off-the-rack drugstore reading glasses. Though they may be more economical than glasses you buy from your eye doctor, they’re only designed to provide generic vision correction, and they can’t account for astigmatism or different prescriptions in each eye. Over-the-counter readers can mask your eye problem and only provide temporary relief.
William C. Womble, O.D.
1822 Huntsville Hwy., Suite D, Fayetteville, Tenn.