Do you think you need glasses?

Taytum Woest - B.Optom (UJ)

Whether you have never had glasses or wear glasses already, it is important to look out for the signs that you might need glasses or an updated prescription.  


Do you find yourself squinting to see objects that are far away? Squinting is a way we try and bring objects into focus that appear to be blurry. When you squint, you limit rays of light that enter the eye. The light rays from the periphery are eliminated resulting in a more focused image on the retina.

Undefined outlines

Do you notice that objects don’t have defined outlines? Or do you battle to make out a person’s facial expression if they stand far away? Is it difficult for you to read road signs when you are driving? These are all signs of blurry vision.

Sitting too close 

Do you move closer too digital screens, either TV or computer monitors, to see clearly? If you find yourself having to move closer to a digital screen to bring the writing or images in focus, this could be a sign of vision problems. Adopting abnormal posture when working on the computer can also have negative effects such as neck pain and back pain. 

Difficulty reading

Do you find it difficult to read fine print? Do you feel that you must hold reading material further away to focus on what you are reading? Do you feel that your arms are not long enough? These may all be signs that you need reading correction. 

Frequent headaches

Do you suffer from frequent headaches, especially after a period of computer work or reading? Do your eyes get tired quickly when reading? Eyestrain can cause headaches and eye fatigue resulting in a person giving up quickly when reading or doing computer work. Frequent headaches can also lead a person to rely too heavily on pain killers. It is much better to find the cause of the headaches, which may well be vision related.  

Better lighting 

Do you find it difficult to read or see detail in poor lighting? Do you battle to see well at night? Do you have difficulty adjusting when light conditions change, for example going outside in the sunlight or coming back indoors after spending time outside? Slightly blurry vision often becomes debilitating in poor lighting conditions and is therefore an indication that you may need glasses.

It is also important, as parents, to look out for any of these signs in your children. They are less likely to tell you that things are blurry, but they will squint to try and focus or constantly move closer to the TV. Reading difficulty can also be a problem for kids and teenagers. They might complain that their eyes ache or get tired quickly when reading. 

If you recognize any of these signs, it is a good idea to have a check up with your optometrist because you may need glasses.