There is a commonly known saying that the eyes are the windows to the soul. But what if the eyes do not see properly?
Our eyes change as we grow older. That is to be expected as our health and the environment we live in changes constantly also. Usually, this is the time when some of us develop far-sightedness or hyperopia, making it difficult to focus on objects close up.
Let us take a look at what this means.
What is long-sightedness
Long-sightedness is usually related to people who are older than 40 years old, although it can also affect younger people, including children and babies. Age-related long sightedness is called presbyopia.
For normal vision when the light enters the eye, it will form an image directly on the retina, situated at the back of the eyeball. During hyperopia (long-sightedness) the light is focused not on the retina but beyond it. Due to this, you will not be able to clearly focus on nearby things and they will seem blurry.
Luckily long-sightedness does not affect your ability to focus on distant object. Rather it is things which are about the reading distance away from the eyes, which will seem blurry.
Common symptoms of long-sightedness
Having hyperopia will make reading difficult, particularly if it has small font. The outcome is that if you are long-sighted you will have much bigger strain on eyes while working behind a computer or reading, than with normal vision. This may lead to squinting or holding things at arm’s length to focus better.
If this is for a short period of time, then it will generally not be a problem but having to strain your eyes for long periods can have more dire consequences. For example, your eyes get sore. Also, headaches are quite common among people with long sightedness.
The cause of long-sightedness
Long-sightedness does not affect your distance vision. Yet even if you have always had a perfect 20/20 vision, once you become older, you might develop hyperopia.
It is not often clear why this happens. It is believed to be hereditary, meaning that you have a higher chance to get it if your parents also have it. Hyperopia can be also caused by the environment you live in, the work you do or simply older age.
The main physiological causes of long-sightedness are:
Eyeball is too short;
Cornea is less curved than normal;
Lens inside the eye is unable to focus properly.
These imperfections will change the focusing point of the eye so that light focuses behind the retina.
There are several ways to correct long-sightedness. While some of them are easy fixes and do not involve any risks to the person then with for example laser eye surgery there are risks involved.
The most common way to correct long-sightedness is through the use of glasses. This is also the simplest and safest way to go as it does not involve you putting anything in your eye or doing a surgery on them.
You can get two different type of reading glasses. They are:
Full frame reading glasses – full-size glasses where the entire lens is made in the reading prescription.
Half-frame reading glasses – which have a much smaller frame and sit lower down on your nose.
Full frame reading glasses are suitable for people who spend a great deal of time concentrating on material close-up. These give you a larger field of view for reading, but if you try to look up and across the room through them, everything appears blurry.
In contrast, half-frame reading glasses allow you to look down and through the lenses for near work, and up and over them to see in the distance. This is suitable for people, who are only long-sighted, meaning they do not need glasses to see into the distance.
Also, thanks to their smaller size, the half-frame reading glasses are the usual go-to for traveling.
The second way to correct long-sightedness is through contact lenses. They work the same way as reading glasses, as they help to focus the light directly on the retina, resulting in a clear vision.
Some people prefer contact lenses to glasses because they are lightweight and almost invisible. You can slip them in your eye unnoticed and wear them for a longer period of time.
The downside of contacts is the need for the constant care and the high level of hygiene required. If you do not put proper attention to their hygiene, you run a risk of getting an eye infection.
Also, having to constantly buy new contact lenses will add up the costs on a longer run.
Laser eye surgery
Laser eye surgery involves using a laser to reshape improve the curvature of your cornea. The outcome is that light will focus better on the retina.
The most commonly used type of laser eye surgery for long-sightedness is called laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK).
Lasik is a 30-minute procedure, where a thin protective layer is created in the front of the cornea with one type of laser, then the cornea is reshaped by another type of laser. The recovery time is very short, where you can go home soon after the surgery and return to your normal routines (minus some strenuous physical activities) within a few days.
As it is an operation then there are certain risks involved. Also, not everyone is a suitable candidate for LASIK eye surgery. Certain conditions can increase your risk of an undesirable outcome or limit optimal LASIK results. These include:
The cornea is too thin or irregular
Pupils are too large
High refractive error
Vision is unstable
High age of the person
Certain degenerative or active autoimmune disorders
Laser eye surgery isn’t suitable for people with the early stages of cataracts, which is more common as you get older. It also doesn’t usually result in complete freedom from glasses for older people.
How to proceed
Before deciding on which corrective option to use, you should plan a visit to an optometrist and have your eyes examined. This will give you an idea of what options suit you the best and what strength reading glasses or lenses you need.
An optometrist will also consult you on what type of corrective measures are the best for you.
For a quick eye-test, you can also refer to our eyesight test page. This will give you some idea of how strong a dioptric value you need for your glasses.
After having done the eye test and consulting with the optometrist, it is time to find the most suitable solutions for yourself. When choosing, take into consideration your daily needs.
Whether you are going for glasses or contact lenses then don’t forget to grab a pair of Glens backup reading glasses. Due to their very small size, they fit easily in your wallet or your phone cover, making them ideal to take with you everywhere you go.
Glens reading glasses come in three dioptric values: +1.5 +2.0 +2.5
Don’t miss out on all the small details in life – correct your vision.
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