Many people dislike seeking medical care for any reason. But when it comes to changes in your vision, do yourself a favor and get to your eye doctor. Early intervention may allow you to avoid complications that can occur if you wait.

But why wait? There are ways to take care of your eyes before changes occur. One way to do that is to get into the habit of protecting them, whether you are at work or at play.

In general, men suffer more eye accidents than women. You should wear eye protectors around power equipment and while playing sports, such as racquetball or squash. Eye injuries can also occur when doing something simple like hammering nails. Unfortunately most men do not think about wearing eye protection for these things.

The three primary types of eye protection—safety glasses, safety goggles, and face shields—are sometimes worn in combination.

For any activity that involves chipping, grinding, riveting, sanding, banging, or masonry, safety goggles should always be worn. Experts also say that handling chemicals, including lawn chemicals, requires goggles. The best goggles are those where the sides touch the skin all around, as particles or chemicals can still fly up under glasses that are open on the sides. A face shield is often required if there are large flying objects or lots of debris.

One of the most consistent and predictable aging phenomena usually occurs in your 40s when you begin having difficulty focusing on close images, such as a book. You must either hold printed matter at arm's length, or if nearsighted, take off your glasses entirely to clearly see what you are reading. This phenomenon is termed presbyopia. The reason for the vision inconsistency is due to changes in the eye from normal aging. The lens of the eye becomes less pliable, and thus is unable to focus on close images. If you have always had normal vision, you may need a pair of reading glasses. They are inexpensive and available in most retail locations. If you wear glasses or contact lenses, your current prescription may need an adjustment. Other treatments include contact lenses and surgery. Talk to your eye doctor about the best options for you.