10 Signs You Need an Eye Test

Leightons and reading

Today I’m sharing a rather important post with you. It’s actually a guest post from my friends at Leightons Opticians and Hearing Care. Our eyes are very important and because many of us are staring at screens all day it’s essential to keep our peepers in check. 

Eye health problems can strike at any age, so it’s always crucial to remain vigilant when it comes to getting concerns promptly examined by a specialist. It doesn’t matter how minor the niggling issue may seem, as the sooner it gets checked, the sooner steps can be taken to reverse it and safeguard your vision. Here’s a guide to essential signs that indicate you need to book an eye test.

Breakfast and books with glasses

Difficulty focusing on near and far objects

This is perhaps the most obvious sign that something isn’t quite right with your vision and that you may benefit from prescription glasses or contact lenses. If you’re suddenly finding it more difficult to read or see distant objects, you might be developing either far or nearsightedness. Blurred vision can also be a symptom for more serious health problems, which will only worsen the longer they are left untreated.

Seeing double

This is a symptom for a range of health complications and it can develop in one eye (monocular double vision) or both (binocular double vision). Due to the fact that your eyes are physically positioned in two separate places, they naturally create slightly different images that send to your brain. The brain then merges these images through a process known as fusion. Double vision is sometimes a result of damage to your eye muscles, as well as developing cataracts. Any sudden double vision is a medical emergency and requires immediate attention.

Eye strain and tiredness

There are many things that can lead to eye strain and visual fatigue. It’s a common misconception to presume that the straining of eyes is simply the result of staring at screens too much. It can just as easily develop from activities such as driving, reading, and working in poor lighting. You may experience strain in the form of headaches, eye discomfort, and blurred vision. If your eyes are straining or tiring regularly through general use then you may benefit from prescription glasses.

Struggling with screens

In a world frequented by digital screens, it is important that your eyes receive regular breaks from them. Short and frequent breaks are recommended above occasional lengthier ones, with 5-10 minutes after an hour’s screen time being a good example. A good practice to follow is the 20-20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, look away from the screen to a distance of around 20 metres for 20 seconds, and try to blink your eyes 20 times. If you struggle to read from a screen or find that it is resulting in regular headaches and eye strain then you could be developing long sightedness and require glasses.


Regular headaches may occur with no obvious connection to any particular overworking of your eyes. Despite this, the pain could be a direct result of an underlying eye condition. Aside from eye strain, these headaches could be triggered by more serious problems such as glaucoma or cataracts. In the case of glaucoma, head and eye pain occurs due to the build-up of pressure inside the eye from an inability to drain fluid properly. This can seriously damage the optic nerve if left untreated.

Conditions and allergies

Eye conditions such as dry eye syndrome and allergies including hay fever can result in great discomfort, not to mention the temporary impairment of your vision. Get your symptoms examined to receive effective medication that can both ease your discomfort and help prevent future occurrences.

Finding it hard to adjust between light levels

If you find that your eyes are taking longer to adapt to sudden changes between dark and light environments, or you get particularly dazzled by flashing lights or headlights when driving, the muscles that enable your iris to contract and expand may be weakening. This is likely to be due to natural degenerative changes that happen as a result of age.

Visual anomalies, such as halos

Seeing halos in light or around objects could be a sign that you are developing cataracts. In the majority of early cataract cases, spectacles can be prescribed to eliminate cataract-related blur or glare. If a cataract becomes significant enough, a quick and simple operation can be carried out. Other visual anomalies can be more serious though, such as floaters or sudden flashes of light. These are symptoms of potentially severe retinal damage and require immediate attention to minimise vision loss.


A squint is where one eye drifts in another direction while the other is looking straight ahead. This is most common in young children but it can in fact occur at any age. It’s not always certain what the direct causes for squints are, but they are often a result of the eye trying to overcompensate for farsightedness. Squints are treatable and can be cured through prescription glasses or surgery.

Trouble seeing at night

While humans won’t be gaining night vision any time soon, no matter how many carrots we consume, you should still be able to see reasonably well in low levels of light. Should you, however, notice that you are finding it harder to see in low light or are squinting more often than usual, book an eye examination. It goes without saying that squinting is a sure tell-tale sign that something’s not right with your vision and it shouldn’t be ignored. These difficulties most likely can be simply treated with prescription glasses, but can occasionally be due to conditions such as cataracts, so make sure you have your eyes checked regularly.

It’s important not to panic if you are experiencing one or more of the above symptoms. They are most likely the result of a minor problem, so be sure to get it examined for your ongoing health and peace of mind. The expert opticians at Leightons can provide personalised treatment and advice to anyone with concerns regarding eye and ear care. Get in touch today to book an appointment at your local branch.