It’s amazing how many young people struggle with low vision, without realising why things seem so difficult.
What is vision impairment?
Vision impairment can take different forms, for example:
- Far - or long-sightedness: not being able to clearly see objects close to you
- Short-sightedness: struggling to focus on objects at a distance
- Astigmatism: blurred or distorted vision at any distance. These can be genetic, or develop as the result of an injury or as you get older.
Why is low vision a problem?
Students learn mostly from visual materials, whether online or hard copy, or a lecturer writing on the board. When you struggle to see clearly, simply taking information in can be difficult and stressful, and that’s before you have to try to remember it. Because of this, vision impairment can lead to feelings of being unable to cope, low self-esteem and eventually even to depression.
Symptoms Many people don’t know they have a form of vision impairment, simply because it’s always been there. These symptoms can be clues:
- Squinting, tilting your head or covering one eye to try to see clearly
- Losing your place when reading or forgetting what you just read
- Feeling dizzy, nauseous or headachy after reading or watching a movie
- Tired eyes after focussing for a while
- Blinking a lot or rubbing your eyes
- Frequently falling over things or knocking things over
What can you do about it?
If you’re concerned about your vision, the first thing to do is have an eye test - try Vision Works at Dischem or SpecSavers. From there, the optometrist will recommend whether you need glasses or some other kind of treatment.
Taking this simple step can change your life, taking the strain out of your studies and making the world a brighter place in so many ways.