Nine Factors That Can Contribute To Poor Eyesight

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If you’ve noticed a decline in your eyesight, it’s important to pinpoint the cause to be able to find a solution. If you’re wondering what is considered bad eyesight, there are several answers to this question; blurry vision, distorted vision, near-sightedness, far-sightedness are all examples. But the simplest answer is that anything less than 20/20 vision is considered bad eyesight.

What can cause bad eyesight?

At Optical Revolution we take great pride in helping our customers understand and manage their eyesight and any changes they detect in it – with this in mind, we’ve put together a list of 9 common causes of bad eyesight.


Our eyesight often declines as we get older. In fact, ageing is actually the primary cause of deteriorating eyesight in the UK. Most of us will naturally begin to develop a condition known as presbyopia as we age, which is the gradual loss of ability to focus on objects up-close. This makes daily tasks like reading a book or looking at a screen much harder than they were before, and you might find yourself holding things further away to be able to focus on them. Presbyopia can begin at around the age of 40, but the good news is that there is help available to correct this, like prescription glasses or contact lenses.

2.Too much screen time

You might have guessed this one! As children, we were told that staring at the television for too long would make our eyes go square. Of course, that isn’t true. But spending long periods of time looking at a computer, phone, or television screen can certainly result in eye strain, dry eyes, blurry vision, dizziness or even headaches. One solution is to use screen-protected (blue light) glasses, but it’s just as important to take regular breaks from your screen. 20 is your golden number – take a break every 20 minutes, for 20 seconds, and look at something 20 feet away. This will give your eyes a break and allow them to refocus.

3. Poor diet

Just like with many aspects of our health, a poor diet can have a detrimental effect on your eyesight. If your diet is lacking in essential vitamins and minerals, your eyes will suffer. Carrots aren’t the only food that’s good for our eyes! Make sure your diet includes leafy greens, eggs, nuts and seafood to ensure you’re getting enough vitamin A, C, and omega-3 fatty acids. Your eyes will thank you for it!

4. Lifestyle choices: smoking and alcohol intake

When we think of smoking and alcohol-related conditions, the first ones to come to mind are usually heart disease and lung cancer. But many people aren’t aware that vision loss is also a risk. In fact, smokers are more likely to develop a condition called age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, dry eye, and cataracts. Too much alcohol consumption can also cause both short-term and long-term problems with eyesight.

5. Health problems

There are several pre-existing conditions that can cause eyesight problems. Some of these conditions include:

If you suffer from any of these conditions or have a family history of any of them, you should speak to a professional to make sure you’re taking all the necessary measures to look after your eyesight.

6. UV Exposure

The advice to wear decent sunglasses is not just to stop you squinting in the sun, it protects from sunburn on the eyeballs, too. It’s true, it is in fact possible to burn your eyeballs and it’s called photokeratitis. But prolonged exposure of UV rays on the eyes can also lead to macular degeneration, cancer and cataracts. We recommend investing in a good pair of sunglasses with a high UV rating, ideally UV400.

7. Not drinking enough water

Much like a poor diet, dehydration can also harm your eyesight. Dehydration stops you from producing the tears that keep your eyeballs moist. If your eyes aren’t moist, they can become dry, puffy and red. Make sure you’re drinking enough water daily to stop this from happening.

8. Working in dim light

Working in dim light is another habit that can cause eye strain. If you’re reading, writing, or doing any sort of work in dim light, your eyes are working harder to focus which ultimately leads to eye fatigue. Make sure your workspace is adequately lit, but avoid overly bright light, as well.

9. Misuse of contact lenses

Contact lenses are a great solution for many eyesight problems, but only if they’re looked after. Bad habits such as not cleaning them, not washing your hands before touching them, or wetting them by putting them in your mouth are bound to introduce bacteria into the eye and cause infection. Leaving them in too long can also cause infection, and wearing poor-fitting lenses can scratch your eyes.

Is bad eyesight genetic?

Whilst many of these factors listed can cause poor eyesight, some eyesight conditions are also linked to genetics, such as macular degeneration and glaucoma. You’re also more likely to have colour-blindness, near-sightedness or far-sightedness if one or both of your parents have it. But a family history of eyesight conditions does not automatically mean you are born with bad eyesight. It’s best to seek advice from one of our professionals or visit your local independent opticians if you think you’re at risk.

Can bad eyesight affect your balance?

Yes. Balance, dizziness, and vertigo can all be caused by bad eyesight. This is because the visual system – which is a part of the three-part system that manages balance in the body – provides input from your eyes to your brain to help maintain balance and prevent dizziness. If your visual system is suffering, your brain is not receiving the information it needs to keep you properly balanced. Concussion, strokes or other traumatic brain injuries can affect the visual system, but so can eyestrain and incorrect glasses or contact lens prescriptions, so make sure you’re wearing the right glasses for your prescription.

Can bad eyesight be cured?

It’s certainly possible to look after your eyes and ensure you’re doing all that you can to prevent your eyesight from deteriorating. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle that includes all the necessary nutrients and avoids smoking and overconsumption of alcohol, protecting your eyes from UV rays, and taking regular breaks from your screen are all measures you can take to look after your eyes.

Moreover, getting regular eye tests can make sure you get early detection and treatment of any eye conditions that you might be prone to – contact us today to book an appointment. 

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