Q: How often should I have my eyes checked?
A: Everyone should have an eye examination yearly.
Q: What is myopia or nearsightedness?
A: The cornea and lens of the eye work together to properly focus images on the retina. If an image is out of focus, it is because the overall shape of the eye is incorrect or because the cornea does not have the proper curvature. When the eye is too big or the cornea is too steep, visual images are focused in front of the retina. This condition is called nearsightedness (myopia). Myopia normally starts to appear between the ages of 8–12, and almost always before the age of 20. Once myopia starts, as the body grows the myopia often increases.
A patient with myopia has an inability to see objects at the distance, such as street signs, chalkboards, and television. Many times, myopia is diagnosed during school screenings. The treatment for nearsightedness includes lenses, which allow visual images to be focused on the retina. These corrections can be in the form of contact lenses or glasses.
Q: What is hyperopia or farsightedness?
A: Farsightedness (hyperopia) occurs when the eye is too small or the cornea is too flat. When this happens, visual images are focused behind the retina. A person with hyperopia is able to see objects at a distance, but has trouble with objects up close, like books or newspapers. Many people are not diagnosed with hyperopia without a complete eye exam. School screenings typically do not discover this condition because they only test for distance vision. Treatment includes contact lenses or glasses.
Q: What is astigmatism?
A: In order for the eye to work properly, light coming into the eye must be properly focused on the retina. When the image is not focused, there is an irregularity in the eye. The cornea should be curved equally in all directions. Astigmatism occurs when the cornea is curved more in one direction than another. Astigmatism is quite common and, in the vast majority of cases, is due simply to variations between people. Just as different people have different shaped feet or hands, people also have differently shaped corneas. Astigmatism may cause blurred vision, eye strain or even headaches. It can also cause images to appear doubled. Astigmatism can be corrected with glasses or contact lenses.
Q: What is presbyopia?
A: During the early and middle years of life, the lens of the eye provides for the capability to focus both far and near. To accomplish this feat, the lens changes shape, getting thicker for near objects and thinner for distant objects. Presbyopia occurs when the eye is no longer able to change shape. This typically takes place around the age of 40.
For people who have presbyopia, vision is blurred when looking at near objects, such as reading. Also, it may become difficult to focus when switching from near to distance vision. A complete examination will determine the strength of lenses needed to see well at all distances. For persons who are nearsighted, removal of the glasses may make it easier to read up close. For those not nearsighted, glasses or bifocals are needed to see well up close.
Q: What is the difference between an ophthalmologist, optometrist, and optician?
A: An Ophthalmologist is a medical doctor whose specialty is the science that deals with the anatomy, functions, and diseases of the eye. An Optometrist is one who is skilled in the measurement and examination of the visual power of the eye. At Eye Vision, our Optometrist tests your eyes for visual defects and figures the prescription to correct them with glasses or contact lenses. Eye Vision Opticians, Peggy and Tim, are the ones who make the glasses for correcting vision in accordance with the prescriptions for each patient.
Q: What should I look for with vision problems in my children?
A: Proper care for children is of the utmost importance. If you suspect problems or have questions, please visit Eye Vision and let our experienced staff advise you.