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What could be causing my blurred vision?

Byline: Dr Miriam Stoppard

SYMPTOMS You can't see as clearly as you used to, whether it's distances - bus numbers - or close up - your newspaper.

1 You bump into things, don't see overtaking cars until the last minute and get eye ache on and off with cloudy vision. OR Pain, redness, watering, haloes around lights, headaches and nausea and vomiting at times.

3 Blurred vision, distortion of straight lines, blind spots, sensitivity to glare, reduced night vision, poor colour vision, seeing lights, shapes and colours that aren't there.

IT COULD BE...

Short or long sight - a change in eyeball shape means the image isn't thrown directly on to the retina. Short sight (you can't see distances clearly) is more common in childhood but can develop in adults. Long sight, where you can't see well close up, eventually happens to everyone from middle age.

Both sets of symptoms suggest glaucoma, caused by a build-up of pressure in the eye, damaging the optic nerve and sight. It starts at the outer edges of vision and moves inwards. The first are symptoms of gradual chronic glaucoma. The less common second is acute and quick-acting.

Age-related macular degeneration - damage to the macula, a small area at the back of the eye, leads to loss of detailed central vision.

STOP IT

Glasses or contact lenses make the image fall directly on to the retina. Don't just put up with it - it's vital to get eye checks at least every two years for health reasons too.

For acute symptoms, go straight to A&E. For chronic symptoms, see your doctor or optician. Treatment involves drugs or laser surgery to reduce pressure in the eye. Visit www.glaucoma-association.com.

One in 10 cases are treatable with a laser treatment called photodynamic therapy or injections. Otherwise your GP can refer you to a low vision clinic for advice on seeing aids and lifestyle. Visit www.beamdaware.co.uk

Additional research: MADELEINE BAILEY
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Sep 27, 2010
Words:323
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