What does 20/20 vision mean?
20/20 does not mean perfect vision, it means sharp or clear vision measured at a distance of 20 feet.
Astigmatism is a vision condition that causes blurred vision due to an irregular shape of the cornea (the clear front cover of the eye) or an irregularly shaped lens inside the eye. Astigmatism can be regular or irregular. Regular astigmatism usually can be corrected with glasses, contact lenses or refractive surgery (LASIK). Irregular astigmatism is usually caused by eye injury, eye surgery or keratoconus. These conditions require specialty contact lens fitting.
Computer Vision Syndrome
Computer vision syndrome is a group of problems caused by prolonged computer use, such as eyestrain, headaches, blurred vision and dry eyes. Uncorrected vision problems, such as farsightedness and astigmatism or presbyopia, can lead to computer vision syndrome. This type of eye strain can be resolved with glasses or frequent breaks form computer work.
Farsighted, or hyperopia, is a condition that causes difficulty focusing objects that are up close. This condition can cause headaches, eye strain and squinting. An optometrist can detect this vision problem with a thorough eye exam and correct it with Glasses, contact lenses and refractive surgery (LASIK). Farsightedness and presbyopia both causes blurry vision up close but for different reasons (see below).
Nearsightedness, or myopia, is a vision problem that causes difficulty reading signs or seeing objects at a distance. Headaches, eyestrain and squinting can result if this condition is left untreated. This vision problem can be detected by visiting an optometrist and be corrected with glasses, contact lenses or refractive surgery (LASIK).
Presbyopia usually develops around age 40, where people lose the ability to perform near tasks, such as reading, sewing or working on the computer. People might find themselves holding books or newspapers farther than normal to see clearly. Over the counter or prescription reading glasses can provide temporary solution for this condition. It is different from farsightedness in that it is a normal age-related condition.
Strabismus, also known as cross-eyed, is a condition where one or both eyes turn in, out, up or down. It may be all the time or occasionally. This condition is most common in children and they will not outgrow it. An eye exam with an optometrist at an early age can help detect this condition and treated early to prevent long term problems.
Cataracts are caused by clouding of the lenses inside the eyes. The lens is made up of mostly water and proteins, which clumps together as we age. This will cause blurry vision and glare from sunlight or on coming headlights. An annual eye exam by an optometrist can help detect and monitor this condition.
Diabetes & the Eye
Diabetes can damage multiple parts of the body including the eyes. Diabetes can cause leakage in the blood vessels that supply nutrition to the eyes, which can lead to permanent blindness if diabetes is not treated. The longer a person has diabetes the higher the risk. Diabetes can cause damages in the eyes without any symptoms, therefore, it is recommended that anyone with diabetes have a dilated eye exam every year by an optometrist.
Dry eye is due to insufficient amount of tears to keep the eye lubricated and provide nutrition to the eye. With dry eye, people may feel the following symptoms in the eyes, irritated, gritty, scratchy, burning, excessive tearing, and blurred vision. There are multiple treatments for dry eyes depending on the cause of dry eyes, which can be determined with a consultation with an optometrist.
Floaters are particles within the vitreous, which is the clear, jelly like fluid that fills the inside of your eyes. They can appear as small spots, thread like strands or cobwebs. Floaters that have been present for a long time or increase in number very slowly are harmless. However, if they appear abruptly or if there is a sudden increase in numbers, then you must be examined immediately by an optometrist to rule out retinal tear or retina detachment.
Glaucoma is a disease that damages the optic nerve of the eye, which leads to vision loss or blindness if left untreated. Anyone can develop glaucoma, but some people are at a higher risk than others. African-Americans over age 40, everyone over age 60 and anyone with family history of glaucoma are at higher risks. Regular eye exams by an optometrist can help detect and treat the disease early to prevent permanent vision loss.
Hypertension & the Eye
High blood pressure can damage the blood vessels of the eye and cause vision loss or blindness.
Keratoconus is a condition where the cornea progressive thinning leads to a cone-shaped cornea rather than the normal dome-shaped. Vision is generally impaired even glasses will not improve vision in moderate to advanced stages. Generally, rigid gas permeable lenses are prescribed by an optometrist for moderate to advanced stages to improve vision.
Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is one of the leading causes of vision loss and blindness among Americans age 65 and older. AMD causes a deterioration of central vision due damages of the macula, which is the part of the retina that allows you to see details. Regular eye exams by an optometrist can help detect and monitor the disease to prevent permanent vision loss.
Nutrition for your eyes
Food high in antioxidants and essential fatty acids, such as Omega 3, have beneficial effects on the eyes in many ways, such as reducing dry eye symptoms and macula damage. These foods include green leafy vegetables, fish, nuts and fruits.
Sun Safety for your eyes
UV radiation from the sun is harmful not only to the skin but also to the eyes. Like the skin, your eyes can get “sunburn” or photokeratitis with excessive exposure to the sun in a short period of time. Small amount of exposure to the sun over a long period of time may also lead to early formation of cataracts and retinal damage. Sunglasses with UV block act as a “sunscreen” for your eyes.
Healthy eyes and good vision are important to the development of the eyes in infants. From ages 2-5, your child will be fine tuning the vision developed during infancy. School-aged children, from ages 6 to 18, require good vision for many tasks to perform well in school. Watch for any signs of eye and vision problems, such as squinting or an eye turn, and seek professional eye care by an optometrist for early treatment to prevent long term vision damage. An eye exam for children can start at about 6 months of age, which is performed by a pediatric optometrist.
Adult Vision: 19 to 40 years of age
One of the most common problems experienced by this age group are eye strain and injuries. Protect your eyes by eating healthy, avoid smoking, getting regular exercise, wearing sunglasses, and getting periodic eye exams by an optometrist.
Adult Vision: 41 to 60 years of age
Most adults in their early to mid-forties may experience difficulty performing close up work, such as reading or computer work. This is a normal aging process called presbyopia and will continue to progress. There is an increased incidence of eye health problems in this age group; therefore, they should be examined regularly by an optometrist regardless of the need for glasses.
Adult Vision: Over 60 years of age
As you reach your 60s and beyond, you should be prepare for normal vision changes such as cataracts. Be aware of warning signs of eye problems, such as a sudden onset of spots and floaters in your vision, sudden eye pain or redness, a loss of any part of your vision or double vision. A regular eye exam by an optometrist can help detect many problems early such as a retinal detachment, glaucoma or macula degeneration.
Contact lenses are a safe form of vision correction if you follow the proper care and wearing instructions provided by the eye doctor or optometrist. The consequences of improper hygiene in caring for your contact lenses may be dangerous.
Soft Contact Lenses
Soft contact lenses provide good vision and comfort for problems such as nearsightedness and farsightedness. There are specialty soft contact lenses designed for astigmatism and presbyopia.
Rigid Gas Permeable (RGP) Contact Lenses
RGP or hard contact lenses are more durable and provide sharper vision than soft lenses in some cases such as corneal irregularities or scars. However RGP lenses take longer to adjust to them than soft lenses.
Hybrid Contact Lenses
SynergEyes Duette and Multifocal hybrid contact lenses offer the best of both worlds, comfort of a soft lens and clear vision of a gas permeable lens. The soft skirt of the hybrid lens provides all-day comfort while the “breathable” rigid center keeps eyes healthy and provides consistent, crisp, clear vision during the day and at night. They are a good solution for a variety of conditions, including myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), astigmatism, presbyopia, keratoconus, and other irregular cornea conditions.
There is no age limit to wearing contact lenses; however, you must be responsible enough to care for your contact lenses. Contact lenses are also better for sports than glasses.
Contact Lenses for those who need reading glasses
Presbyopia is an age-related condition starting at about age 40 where people start to lose the ability to see up close. This condition can be corrected with reading or bifocal glasses, and contact lenses using monovision and bifocal contact lenses. Monovision means wearing a contact lens for near vision on one eye and a lens for distance vision on the other eye. Just like bifocal glasses, bifocal contact lenses provide adequate vision for all distances with both eyes.
What are LASIK and PRK?They are surgical procedures that reshape the cornea, the front surface of the eye, to improve vision. Are LASIK and PRK safe?The outcome is generally good and they are recognized by the FDA as safe and effective. The most common side effects include dry eyes and glare at night. There is a less than 1% chance of vision loss; however, there are no known cases to date.
Who is eligible?
Eligibility can be determined with a consultation, but below are a few general guidelines.
- You must have healthy eyes (no glaucoma, infection, cataracts or severe dry eyes).
- You must be 21 years of age or older.
- Your vision must be stable for at least one year.
- You must not be pregnant or nursing.
- You cannot have degenerative or autoimmune diseases.
What if time passes and my vision is not improving?
There is a small chance of a regression or a gradual worsening of vision. In which case, an enhancement may correct the problem.
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