Why does eyesight get weak?
Few people are totally without sight. Most people who are classified as “blind” actually have remaining sight. Thanks to developments in low vision rehabilitation, they can enhance their visual function and improve their quality of life.
Anyone with uncorrectable, reduced vision is visually impaired. Uncorrectable means vision that is not further improved by spectacles or contact lenses, it does not mean vision when not wearing glasses.
The World Health Organization uses the following classifications of visual impairment. When the vision in the better eye with the best possible glasses correction is:
20/30 to 20/60, this is considered mild vision loss, or near-normal vision.
20/70 to 20/160, this is considered moderate visual impairment, or moderate low vision.
20/200 or worse, this is considered severe visual impairment, or severe low vision.
20/500 to 20/1000, this is considered profound visual impairment or profound low vision.
Less than 20/1000, this is considered near-total visual impairment or near-total low vision.
No light perception, this is considered total visual impairment, or total blindness.
There are also levels of visual impairment based on visual field loss (loss of peripheral vision).
In the United States, any person with vision that cannot be corrected to better than 20/200 in the best eye, or who has 20 degrees or less of visual field remaining, is considered legally blind.
Visual impairments take many forms and exist in varying degrees. Visual acuity alone is not a good predictor of a person’s vision problems. Someone with relatively good acuity (20/40) can have difficulty functioning, while someone with worse acuity (20/200) might not have any real problems performing daily activities.
Conditions that cause bad eyesight
Bad eyesight, or blurred vision, is most commonly caused by a refractive error like nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia) or astigmatism. Refractive errors develop when the eye is unable to focus light directly on the retina.
This inability to focus stems from imperfections in the eye’s length, corneal curvature and/or internal lens curvature. The refractive error you experience depends on which anatomical flaw your eyes have.
For example, eye length is normally associated with farsightedness, corneal curvature is linked to astigmatism and lens curvature can determine nearsightedness or farsightedness.
Amblyopia (lazy eye) — caused by a lack of communication between the eyes and the brain — is another condition that can cause poor eyesight. The brain is supposed to receive visual signals from both eyes, but in young patients with amblyopia, the brain ignores signals from one of the eyes.
If caught early, amblyopia can be treated very successfully, but if left untreated, it can cause permanent vision loss.
Presbyopia: Experiencing blurred vision after age 40 is often an indication of presbyopia, or age-related farsightedness. As your eyes age, the lenses that used to focus on up-close images become stiff, making it difficult to adapt and causing your near vision to blur.
Most of these vision conditions are very common and are easily corrected with glasses or contact lenses. Eye diseases, however, aren’t always a quick fix.
5 Everyday Habits That Are Hurting Your Vision
Your eyesight is precious. Stop squandering it.
Here are the things you should stop doing ASAP to help keep your peepers as healthy as possible.
1. Forgetting to wear sunglasses
Extensive UV exposure can damage the retina and ultimately put you at risk for a few major eye conditions like cataracts or abnormal growths. It’s so important to wear UV-blocking sunglasses while outside to avoid damage. So, dig those sunnies out of your bag every time you head outside—it’s even more important than you realize. If you wear contacts, choosing a brand with UV protection can add an extra layer of defense
2. Wearing old contact lenses
While it might seem harmless to wear those one-day contact lenses on day two, you’re increasing your chances of an infection. People tend to keep their contact lenses in their eyes much longer than the contacts are intended, especially one-a-days. Sleeping in your contacts, sharing contacts with others, or not switching your contact case every few weeks are all major offenses when it comes to keeping your eyes healthy and avoiding vision-blurring infections.
3. Rubbing your eyes
It may give you a moment of relief, but you’re also spreading dirt and bacteria into your eyes when you rub them. You transfer germs into your eyes this way, classically bacteria that causes pink eye. Eye rubbing has been linked to permanent corneal damage—like disorders known as keratoconus in which the cornea thins and begins to bulge outward—and it can also break the fragile vessels around the eye. It’s also important to note that if you feel something in your eye, trying to rub it away can possibly dig the debris in deeper. Instead, try to blink rapidly so that your tears wash it away. If that doesn’t work, put in a few eye drops to flush out the eye.
4. Wearing contacts in the pool or shower
“Wearing your contacts in any form of water—the ocean, a pool or even the shower—can allow bacteria, or in severe cases, even something called an acanthamoeba, into the eye. This microorganism lives in fresh water and soil, and though it’s rare, can cause a serious infection—even permanent damage or blindness—if it gets in your eye. Something like this not only causes infections, but can also cause serious damage to your vision as well.
5. Using expired eye makeup
While it might physically pain you to throw out your favorite mascara when only half the tube is used, it’s a necessary evil if it’s past its prime. Using expired eye makeup can irritate your contacts or cause a nasty eye infection. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, eye makeup should be thrown away after three months. Some experts say six to nine is OK for mascara, and longer for eye shadows, but it’s better to err on the safe side. A good rule of thumb is that when it gets clumpy, it’s time to throw it out. Don’t add water—it’ll just give bacteria an even cozier place to set up shop.
Signs that your Eyesight is getting Weak
Healthy eyes are a blessing that should not be taken for granted, pay close attention to any symptoms of weakening eyesight. A healthy eyesight or 20/20 vision is vital to living a successful and prosperous life; we can’t even begin to imagine where we would be without our eyesight. Blindness is a debilitating and deeply traumatic health consequence. This is essentially why it is so important that you never take your eyesight for granted.
The best way to ensure good eye health is by eating foods rich in carotene and other antioxidants that will protect our eyes from the oxidative damage caused by free radical cells. Incorporating foods such as leafy green vegetables, carrots, and sea food is necessary for eye health.
Symptoms of a weakening eye sight are quite clearly felt, and as soon as you begin experiencing the symptoms it is strongly advised that you immediately go to an optometrist. Here are a few of the things you should look out for:
1. Blurry vision
The sharpness with which we can focus on an object either far or near is the sign of healthy eyesight. The opposite of this is when we suddenly look at something and the image appears blurry and takes time to come into focus is a sign that the eye is no longer performing to its full capacity. This is an indication for weakening eyesight.
If you are forced to shield your eye, even when the sun’s rays aren’t that powerful then your eyes have become very sensitive the sun’s glare as well as reflected light. It is important that you immediately see a doctor. This problem can be due to farsightedness, nearness, cataracts or other eye issues.
3. Double vision
This is when you experience seeing two of the same objects. This can be a sign of severely damaged eyesight and needs to be examined immediately. This can begin in one or both eyes and may the result of cataracts, astigmatism and irregularly shaped cornea. This can pose difficulties in performing the simplest of tasks, and is quite common in college students.
Having difficulty determining something from afar, or do you have trouble reading what’s in front of you? If you need to constantly narrow your eyes to read something then your eyesight may be rapidly weakening. Squinting helps the eye focus by narrowing the curvature of the light entering your eye. This can be due to the eyeball changing shape or change in the structure of the cornea.
Headaches can often be a result of stress or strain that we place on our eyes while trying to focus or squint. Blurry vision or seeing double forces you to place undue strain on your eyes leading to severe headaches.
Why Does My Vision Keep Getting Worse?
It can be discouraging when your vision exam results show you need a stronger prescription. This is especially true if you are careful to always wear your glasses when you need them, whether it is just while reading or all the time. After an exam, hearing that your vision is now worse isn’t the news you were hoping for.
Don’t get upset and blame your glasses though. There are many reasons why your eyes don’t see quite as well as they did at your last vision test. And none of them have to do with your glasses.
The eyes change shape in order to focus incoming light on the correct spot on the retina. However, children’s eyeballs are still small and aren’t finished growing to their full adult size yet. This limits the flexibility of the eye and inhibits its ability to focus. It is fairly common for children to be farsighted because of this. As their bodies and eyes grow, their near vision can actually improve.
Vision changes due to eye growth are more apparent if they are wearing eyeglasses already. The continued development of the eyes in children means they will also need to update their prescription eyeglasses more often than an adult. Their lenses may become too weak even within a few months if they are going through a growth spurt.
…or Growing Old
Aging again becomes a factor in deteriorating vision after age 40. As you get older, along with the rest of your body, your eyes lose elasticity which weakens their ability to focus. In order to see objects close up, the eyes contract and the lens thickens, which makes the lens of the eye more convex. The reduced elasticity due to aging makes it more difficult for your eyes to shape themselves properly to look at things near to them, like when reading a book. Because the eye can’t compensate for this, corrective lenses are needed.
Tiredness and Eye Strain
Sometimes, weak vision is temporary. Blurry vision that goes away on its own may be caused by eye strain, not an out-of-date prescription. Noticing that your eyes feel tired, itchy, too dry, or too watery are some other signs. When doing something strenuous for your eyes, such as using a computer, taking frequent breaks about every 20 minutes to focus your eyes on something else will relieve the stress.
It’s Not Your Glasses
A common myth is that wearing glasses will make your eyes weaker. The idea behind this is that, because the lenses are doing the focusing work, your eyes can become “out of shape” due to lack of practice resulting in becoming dependent on the glasses to see at all.
It is actually because your eyes are (literally) out of shape that you need vision correction in the first place. Common vision problems, like near or far-sightedness, are caused by the shape of your eyeball being too long or too short which prevents the incoming light from focusing on the correct spot in your eye. All the eyeglass lenses are doing is redirecting the light where it needs to go, depending on what vision issue you have.