If you suddenly have to pull your phone closer to your face to check your DMs, your vision may have changed. Alterations in vision can happen gradually or suddenly, for many different medical reasons. Sudden, major changes in your eyesight—such as reduced vision, flashes of light, or double vision—require emergency medical care, since they may signal something serious, like retinal detachment or even, rarely, a stroke. But changes in vision can also happen gradually, and many of these changes aren’t any cause for alarm. One of the most common issues is presbyopia, or trouble seeing clearly at close distances. This change typically develops between ages 41 and 60, and you might end up needing glasses or bifocal lenses. No big deal—we’re all about rocking the glasses! Constant use of computers, laptops, mobile phones (basically anything with a screen!) can cause a variety of symptoms or vision problems known as computer vision syndrome (CVS) or digital eye strain. If this is your issue, you might want to rock a different kind of glasses, namely the kind that block blue light, or so-called "prism" glasses, which help with a variety of vision problems. Ask your practitioner for help finding an optometrist or ophthalmologist who specializes in these specs. If you're dealing with Lyme or another infectious disease, keep in mind that bacteria and viruses can wreak havoc anywhere—including, unfortunately, the eyes. Lyme, for example, can cause blurred or double vision in the early stages and inflammation of various parts of the eye, as well as floaters and sensitivity to light, in the later stages. Treating the underlying cause is a first step in improving vision, but you can also be proactive about eye health by wearing sunglasses when you’re outside, blue-blocking glasses inside and getting lots of rest. Your eyes need to sleep, just like the rest of your body! It’s also important not to smoke, to exercise regularly, and to eat a healthy, well balanced diet. Be sure to load up on dark leafy greens and bright and dark yellow and orange fruits and vegetables, which are rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, carotenoids known to help eye health. If you are anxious or concerned about any changes in your vision, talk to your practitioner. There are many different solutions that may help, and they’ll be able to help ease your fears and figure out a plan.
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- Cleveland Clinic. Ocular health. Cleveland Clinic. Ocular health.