Refractive Correction

stock20Farsightedness (Hyperopia)

Hyperopia is an eye condition in which one commonly is able to see clearly at a distance, but struggles to maintain clarity and proper focus when objects are brought close up. This condition occurs because either the eyeball as a whole is too small, or the curvature of the cornea (the clear front surface of the eye) is very flat. In either situation, light entering the eye is not accurately focused onto the retina, and this in turn, results in a blurry image.

School vision screenings often fail to detect hyperopia because the individual typically has good vision when tested on a distant target. In a younger individual, their eyes may be able to compensate for small amounts of hyperopia. As they grow older, they likely will lose their ability to compensate, and may need to be corrected with contact lenses or prescription glasses in order to provide clear and comfortable vision.

Individuals with undiagnosed hyperopia may experience:

  • Difficulty in concentration when reading or working on a computer
  • Difficulty in maintaining a clear focus on near objects
  • Eye strain or ache
  • Headaches after reading or working on the computer
  • Fatigue after working on something close up
  • Irritability or nervousness when concentrating on a near task

If you have been diagnosed with hyperopia and are experiencing any of these symptoms, schedule an appointment, as your condition may have worsened. If you frequently encounter any of these symptoms and have not been diagnosed, contact our office to learn which treatment option is best for you.

stock19Nearsightedness (Myopia)

Myopia is an eye condition in which one is able to see clearly close up, but objects at a distance appear blurred. This condition occurs because either the eyeball as a whole is too large, or the curvature of the cornea (the clear front surface of the eye) is very steep. In either situation, light entering the eye is not accurately focused onto the retina, and this in turn, causes distant objects to appear out of focus and blurry.

Nearly 30% of the population is affected by myopia. There is some hereditary component to this condition, but there is increasing evidence demonstrates that the visual stresses that accompany near work (such as reading and working on a computer) influence the development and severity of this condition as well.

Common symptoms of this condition include:

  • Squinting to help improve your vision
  • Difficulty reading street signs when driving
  • Struggling to read the whiteboard or smart-board in school
  • Straining to see the television clearly

There are several different treatment options for someone diagnosed with myopia. Your eye care professional can prescribe prescription glasses or contact lenses that work to make your vision clear. Depending on the severity of the condition, you may only have to wear the corrective lenses for certain activities. Another alternative to corrective lenses is to try Orthokeratology (Ortho-K), a corneal refractive therapy technique used to treat myopia. This is a non-surgical therapeutic option, which involves wearing a specialty designed gas permeable contact lens at night while you sleep. The contact lens reshapes the cornea, gradually flattening the front surface of your eye so that light entering the eye can directly be focused onto the retina without the need for corrective lenses. There are a variety of refractive surgeries that are utilized to correct this condition as well. If you are interested in any of these treatment options, ask your eye care professional if you would be a good candidate.

stock21Presbyopia

During the normal course of aging, the eyes slowly lose their ability to focus on objects up close. This is due to a loss of the flexibility of the crystalline lens inside the eye. The effects of presbyopia typically start around the age of 40, and once it begins, it will progressively worsen. There is no way to prevent this change, but to compensate for this condition, prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses can be prescribed. There are multiple treatment options available including reading only glasses, progressive addition lenses, bifocals, trifocals, and even contact lenses. Because presbyopia usually occurs in combination with farsightedness, nearsightedness, or astigmatism, your eye care professional can determine which treatment option will bring you the clearest visual outcome. Since this condition will continue to affect the ability of the eyes to focus properly, periodic changes in your prescription will likely be necessary to maintain your best vision.

Signs of Presbyopia:

  • Difficulty focusing on reading material or computer work
  • Progressively holding objects further out to see clearly
  • Complaining your arms are “too short” to read at a comfortable distance
  • Trouble reading fine or small print
  • Eyestrain or headaches after prolonged near work
  • Struggling to read or see in dim lighting situations
  • Blurry vision when changing focus from an object far away to one up-close