Using your sense of sight is something you do unconsciously—even more unconsciously than breathing. So when miniscule changes occur in your vision, they easily go unnoticed until your vision gets really bad. Here are some signs that your vision has changed and you need a new prescription.

1. You Have Frequent Headaches
Maybe you haven’t noticed the recent, miniscule decline in your vision, but your brain has. And all the energy it expends trying to correct the problem is wearing it out. This brain fatigue manifests as a headache.

While that explanation may be an oversimplification, if you notice an increase in the amount of headaches you get, make an appointment with your optometrist. Headaches from nearsightedness typically occur in the front of the head or over the eyebrow. People who are farsighted complain of headaches after doing close-up work—like knitting or painting a picture—for an extended period of time.

2. You Find Yourself Squinting a Lot
You may not even realize you are doing it at first, but your eyes and head start to hurt while you are using a computer and you realize it’s because you have been squinting at the screen.

Squinting improves vision in two ways. First, it filters peripheral light. Peripheral light rays hit your eyes at an angle rather than straight on, and the eyes need to straighten the rays in order to focus. Only the light directly in front of you—which is already straightened—is allowed in the eye. Secondly, squinting changes the shape of your eye slightly, which alters the angle of the light entering the cornea.

If you find yourself squinting a lot, your eye isn’t straightening out the light entering it. A better glasses prescription can correct that problem.

Pay special attention to any squinting you do during the evening or at night. In poorly lit places, the pupils dilate to let more light into our eyes. This dilation can amplify vision problems. If you notice your vision is worse at night, don’t assume it’s because of the dark—go get your eyes checked.

3. Your Eyes Feel Tired
Deterioration in your vision doesn’t only make your brain tired, it also takes a toll on your eyes. Eye fatigue and/or pain can be caused by a variety of factors—how much sleep you are getting, seasonal allergies, sickness, and focusing on one object (like a book) for too long.

But these factors should only cause temporary, occasional strain; if your eyes feel strained or start to hurt for more than a day or two, there could be a bigger problem—such as changes in your vision. A new glasses prescription should alleviate the strain.

4. You’ve Had the Same Glasses for Years

Eyes typically get worse as time goes on. If you’ve had the same glasses for years, you are likely ready for a new prescription. Dr. Bishop & Associates, optometrists who perform eye exams in Calgary, recommend annual eye exams for adults and seniors. You probably know that you should go in for an eye checkup every year, but it’s easy to get busy and put off making that appointment. Suddenly two years have gone by and you still haven’t been to visit your eye doctor.

If, however, you do visit your eye doctor regularly and your eyes haven’t changed, of course it’s OK to keep the glasses you’ve been wearing for the last few years.
Although miniscule changes in your vision can easily go unnoticed, these four symptoms are telltale signs you need to get your eyes checked. As soon as you notice any headaches, squinting, or eye strain, or if it’s been a while since you’ve seen your optometrist (pardon the pun), give him a call—don’t worry about waiting for your annual checkup.

Author's Bio: 

A recent college graduate from University of San Francisco, Anica loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she's used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.