Contrary to the popular belief, squinting is not bad for your vision.  In fact, squinting can enhance your vision and level of focus.

 

Squinting causes three main changes in your eye that can help to enhance vision:

 

  • Eye Lens Changes Shape – the lens of the eye is flexible and can change shape when squinting.
  • Eye Lens Adjusts – small adjustments in the lens allow us to focus better, similar to a camera.
  • Less Light Enters the Eye – Less light enters the eye when squinting, reducing the impact on the retina, allowing objects to look sharper and clear.

 

Squinting is not detrimental to your health and is completely normal when someone is trying to see better. If you are over the age of 40, have never worn prescription glasses, and find yourself occasionally squinting, then you likely do not have to worry. However, if you find yourself squinting frequently, you may want to visit an eye doctor. Squinting could indicate eye strain, fatigue, or that you may need to begin wearing prescription glasses.

 

Squinting may be a sign that you have a refractive error in your vision, such as near- or far-sightedness, that needs to be corrected by lenses. This refractive error could be causing blurry vision and making you squint more frequently. If you find yourself squinting a lot and experience the following symptoms, you may need corrective lenses:

 

  • Headaches
  • Double Vision
  • Difficulty Reading

 

In some cases, squinting may be paired with the turning out or in of an eye, called Strabismus. Strabismus is more common in children and infants but can occur when a child has a refractive error issue that needs correction, astigmatism, or other difficulties pairing and focusing their eyes. If your child is experiencing a squint accompanied by an eye turn, you should have them examined by an eye doctor. If left untreated, strabismus can worsen and develop into amblyopia (lazy eye) as one’s eye continues to weaken. Your eye doctor will examine the child and determine the correct course of treatment, including corrective lenses or vision therapy.

 

While it is often harmless, squinting could be a sign of a developing problem if paired with other symptoms such as feeling pressure in the eye, seeing halos, and decreased night vision. If you are experiencing blurry vision alongside any of these symptoms, see your optometrist immediately for a comprehensive examination.

 

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