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What vision is like with these 8 common eye conditions

1. Age-related macular degeneration 

Vision with age related macular degeneration

In the early stages of dry age-related macular degeneration (ARMD), there may be no symptoms at all. This means that regular eye tests are crucial in order to catch it early and slow it's progression. As it progresses, individuals may experience:

  • Some blurriness in the central vision
  • Difficulties seeing in darker spaces

With wet ARMD, and the more advanced stages of dry ARMD, individuals may experience:

  • Objects appear odd sizes and shapes
  • Straight lines may appear curvy or fuzzed
  • Lights, colours and shapes may appear to be there when they aren’t
  • A blank or dark patch in the middle of your sight
  • Reading, watching TV and identifying faces become difficult
  • Difficulty seeing in low lighting
  • Complete loss of the middle of your vision

Read more about age-related macular degeneration

2. Astigmatism

Vision with astigmatism
  • Blurred or distorted vision of nearby and distant objects
  • Images may be stretched or skewed
  • Glare, halos, or difficulty seeing in low-light conditions, such as when driving at night
  • Eye discomfort, fatigue, or strain, especially after extended periods of reading, computer use, or other close-up tasks
  • Frequent headaches, particularly around the eyes or forehead
  • Squinting to try to bring objects into focus
  • Double vision (seeing two overlapping images of the same object)
  • Difficulty in achieving a comfortable fit with contact lenses

Read more about astigmatism

3. Cataracts

Vision with cataracts
  • Cloudy or blurry vision
  • Difficulty seeing small details
  • Difficulty carrying out daily activities such as driving or recognising faces
  • Difficulty seeing in dim lit conditions and finding bright lights dazzling
  • Fading of colours
  • If you currently wear glasses, it may seem like your glasses are dirty even when they're clean

Read more about cataracts

4. Diabetic retinopathy

Vision with diabetic retinopathy
  • Black spots or gaps in vision
  • Gradual or sudden loss of vision
  • Eye floaters
  • Blurred or patchy vision

Read more about diabetic retinopathy

5. Glaucoma

Vision with glaucoma

In the early stages of glaucoma, there may be no symptoms at all. This means that, in some cases, the only way to diagnose it and slow down it's progression is by having regular eye tests. However as it progresses individuals may experience:

  • Vision loss, particularly in your peripheral vision (your side vision)
  • Over time, this can lead to tunnel vision or even complete blindness if left untreated

Read more about glaucoma

6. Charles Bonnet Syndrome

Vision with Charles Bonnet Syndrome

Vivid, complex visual hallucinations which can involve:

  • People
  • Animals
  • Objects
  • Patterns

Read more about Charles Bonnet Syndrome

7. Myopia (short-sightedness)

Vision with myopia
  • Difficulty seeing objects clearly at a distance, such as road signs, chalkboards, or distant faces
  • Squinting to improve focus and clarity
  • Eye strain, particularly when engaging in activities like driving or watching television
  • Headaches from prolonged eye strain
  • Difficulty seeing at night and in low-light conditions

8. Presbyopia (long-sightedness) 

Vision with presbyopia
  • Increasing difficulty in reading or performing tasks that require close-up vision, such as reading a book, using a smartphone, or working on a computer
  • Needing more light when reading or performing close-up tasks
  • Close-up objects, such as text on a printed page or a smartphone screen, may appear blurry
  • Holding reading material at an arm's length to bring it into focus
  • Eye strain, headaches, and fatigue from prolonged efforts to focus

The insights and expertise shared in this article are brought to you by...

Matthew Burford BSc(Hons) Optometry MCOptom, Professional Services Manager at OutsideClinic

Matthew graduated from Aston University in 2004 before finding his passion for domiciliary eye care and joining OutsideClinic in 2005.

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