You spend your day looking at X-rays, viewing patient charts, and looking for problems in patients’ mouths.
Then, when you get home, you get the chance to stare into your loved one’s eyes, look at the roses in your garden, and even admire that double-decker ice cream cone you’ve been looking forward to all day.
The most important things in life — along with the best things in life — are meant to be seen.
Unfortunately, you may be struggling at the dental office due to vision issues.
The truth is, you’re not alone.
Research shows that half of all people in the world will require glasses by the year 2050 due to the proliferation of screen usage in modern society.
Being a dentist requires a crystal-clear and strong vision. If you feel your eyes are faltering, here’s a rundown on eight signs you need glasses right away.
Let’s get started!
1. Signs You Need Glasses Include Squinting a Lot
If you find yourself doing a lot of squinting at work or outside of the dental office, this is because your body is trying to reduce the extra light that is entering your eyes, thus making blurred images look smaller.
This is a makeshift fix for compensating for objects that are out of focus and can therefore point to poor vision. Specifically, excessive squinting may indicate myopia (nearsightedness) or hyperopia (farsightedness).
2. Your Head Hurts
If you are farsighted or nearsighted, near or distant objects may appear blurry to you, respectively, thus causing eye strain.
When your eyes constantly strain so that you can see better, headaches are oftentimes inevitable. Therefore, if you notice that you keep developing headaches, you just may need corrective lenses.
But be careful — too strong of an eyeglass prescription can also lead to headaches.
3. You Have a Hard Time Seeing at Night
Perhaps you’re having an especially hard time seeing at night or in a dimly lit room. This means your eyes cannot adjust to the dark very well, which may point to cataracts.
Another telltale sign that you need glasses is that you see a halo around a light bulb or a car headlight. This happens because your eyes are not focusing correctly, thus causing light to become blurry or scattered.
Furthermore, if you tend to turn lights on frequently to see better, you may have presbyopia — the normal loss of the ability to focus on objects near you. In this situation, reading glasses may be necessary.
4. Watching Television Isn’t Easy
Let’s say you enjoy watching television every night after coming home from the dental office. The next time you watch TV, pay attention to your viewing habits.
Do you sit close to your TV? If so, it may be because you can’t clearly see images otherwise, meaning you have undiagnosed nearsightedness.
Also, do you find yourself covering or closing your “bad” eye to keep it from negatively affecting your vision? You just might have astigmatism or lazy eye, or perhaps you have double vision or a cataract.
In any of these scenarios, corrective lenses — either glasses or contact lenses — are in order. (Learn more here about how to make contact lenses work for you.)
5. Reading is Difficult
Your downtime spent reading your favorite book may quickly become a stressful time if you have unresolved vision problems.
If you often lose your place while looking at a book, this may indicate that you have a condition known as strabismus, where your eyes are misaligned.
In addition, if you hold the book close to your face, you might be nearsighted. Or if you hold it away from you, you might be farsighted.
A majority of people experience farsightedness as they get older, usually beginning at age 40. Fortunately, this isn’t something that reading glasses can’t help.
6. Your Eyes Feel Fatigued
Eye fatigue may stem from inadequate sleep, allergies, flu or a cold.
However, if you are experiencing persistent eye fatigue during regular activities, it’s time to see an optometrist.
Also, if you rub your eyes frequently, it’s likely time to get glasses, as you may be struggling with eye fatigue.
7. You Have Double or Wavy Vision
People often joke about experiencing double vision after drinking one too many beers.
However, a true double vision problem is no joking matter.
If you’re seeing double at work or outside of the dental office, this might indicate issues with your eye muscles or cornea. It may also point to cataracts.
Wavy vision is another common eye problem that requires medical attention.
For instance, the blinds that cover your kitchen window may suddenly appear to be under water.
Also, perhaps colors appear faded, or maybe straight lines look distorted. This may mean you have macular degeneration, where your retina’s central portion is deteriorating. Macular degeneration is a top cause of eyesight loss.
8. You’re Having a Hard Time at Your Work Computer
When you’re not seeing patients at work, you may be on your computer handling other administrative tasks. However, if reading your computer screen becomes a major chore after a while, you may be farsighted.
As a general rule of thumb, you should follow the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, for 20 seconds, stop looking at your computer. Instead, glance at an item that is 20 feet from you.
If you continue to have vision problems, it’s in your best interest to schedule an exam with an optometrist.
How We Can Help
In addition to highlighting signs you need glasses, we offer a number of tips to help dentists to excel in their practices. We also provide information on continuing education opportunities, equipment for sale, and even dental practices for sale.
Take a peek here to find out more about how you can take your dental career/business to the next level this fall and beyond.