Your vision

Vision conditions
Just about everyone will have a need for vision correction at some point during their lives – especially later in life, when reading small type becomes more difficult. By understanding the most common vision conditions, you’ll know what vision condition you have and how this condition can be corrected with contact lenses. As with any issue involving your vision, an eye care professional is the best person to answer any questions you may have. Furthermore, only he or she will be able to provide you with an accurate diagnosis of your specific vision condition.

 

Astigmatism
Astigmatism is a common visual condition caused by an irregularly shaped cornea. The surface of the cornea is oblong in shape, like a football, instead of perfectly round, like a basketball. Light rays passing through an oblong cornea bend unequally, causing multiple focusing points. Consequently, vision is blurred at most distances. Astigmatism is usually hereditary, although factors such as low light levels and too much work done close up can contribute to the condition.

How do I know if I have astigmatism?
Symptoms include squinting, occasional headaches, and eyestrain. In most cases, astigmatism is accompanied by nearsightedness or farsightedness. Forty-five percent of people who require vision correction have some degree of astigmatism. Astigmatism is usually diagnosed through a comprehensive eye exam.

Will my vision continue to get worse?
Over time this condition may increase slowly but generally, over a lifetime, it remains relatively stable.

How is astigmatism treated?
Astigmatism can be corrected by wearing glasses or toric contact lenses. Take a look at how toric contact lenses correct astigmatism:


The irregular shape of an astigmatic eye cornea and/or lens produces two focusing points in front of or behind the retina, which can cause blurred vision.
Toric contact lenses correct the refractive errors, creating a single focal point in the retina where vision is sharpest.

 

Farsightedness
Hyperopia, or farsightedness, is a common vision condition where you are able to clearly see objects that are far away, but objects close up are blurry. It is a condition in which your eye is underpowered. Farsightedness occurs when the eyeball is too short for the focusing power of the lens and cornea. This causes light rays to focus behind the retina. As a result, the eye sees distant objects clearly while near objects appear blurred. Farsightedness is usually present at birth and tends to run in families.

How can I tell if I have Hyperopia?
Symptoms include nearby objects appearing blurry, squinting, and eyestrain. You may also experience headaches after an extended period of doing close tasks like reading or sewing. Farsightedness is usually diagnosed through a comprehensive eye exam.

Will my vision continue to get worse?
When most people reach their 40s, they start to experience a condition called presbyopia that makes up-close tasks more difficult. The development of presbyopia can make farsightedness more obvious.

How is farsightedness treated?
Farsightedness can be corrected by wearing spherical contact lenses or glasses. Correction requires a “plus” lens containing additional optical power to permit sharp vision of near objects. Here’s how spherical contact lenses correct farsightedness:

The shape of a hyperopic eye focuses images behind the retina, producing blurred vision of near objects. By increasing the cornea’s focusing power, spherical contact lenses correct the refractive error, creating a single focal point on the retina where vision is sharpest.

 

Nearsightedness
Myopia, or nearsightedness, is a condition where the eye sees near objects within a certain range very clearly while distance vision appears blurry at all times. Nearsightedness is one of the most common vision conditions, with an estimated 70 million people in the United States suffering from it. Nearsightedness occurs when the eyeball is too long for the focusing power of the lens and cornea. Nearsightedness creates an overpowered eye that causes images to reach true focus in front of the retina. Nearsightedness tends to run in families – you are especially at risk if both of your parents are nearsighted.

How can I tell if I have Myopia?
Symptoms include distant objects appearing blurry, squinting, and eyestrain. Nearsightedness is often first diagnosed during childhood. A child with nearsightedness may sit very close to the TV or hold books very close to the face when reading. Nearsightedness is usually diagnosed through a comprehensive eye exam.

Will my vision continue to get worse?
Most nearsightedness is diagnosed in children or teens. As the eyeball continues to grow, it’s likely that the nearsightedness will continue to worsen. Nearsightedness usually stops getting worse by about age 16 in women and by the mid-20s in men. Although most cases of nearsightedness usually stabilize, some do worsen with age.

How is nearsightedness treated?
Nearsightedness can be corrected by wearing spherical contact lenses or glasses. Correction requires a “minus” lens to “weaken” the eye optically, permitting clear distance vision. Here’s how spherical contact lenses correct nearsightedness:

The shape of a nearsighted eye focuses images in front of the retina, producing a blurred distance vision. By reducing the cornea’s focusing power, spherical contact lenses create a single focal point on the retina where vision is sharpest.

 

Presbyopia
If you are 40 or older and have noticed it’s been getting harder and harder to read small type, you may have a common condition called presbyopia. Presbyopia is the worsening of vision, especially close up, with age. The condition is a natural part of aging; as you grow older, the lenses in your eyes thicken and lose their elasticity, and the muscles surrounding the lenses weaken. Both of these changes decrease your ability to focus, especially on near objects. Putting greater distance between the object and your eye brings the object into focus – for example, holding a book or magazine farther from your face. For this reason, presbyopia is sometimes called “long-arm syndrome.”

How can I tell if I have Presbyopia?
The main symptom of presbyopia is blurred vision, especially when doing close work or trying to focus on near objects. The blurriness is worse in dim light or when you are fatigued. You may notice the tendency to hold reading materials farther away in order to read. Presbyopia can also cause headaches and/or eyestrain. Presbyopia is usually diagnosed through a comprehensive eye exam.

Will my vision continue to get worse?
Near vision begins to decline due to presbyopia at around the time you enter your 40s. Presbyopia continues to progress – requiring changes to prescriptions for contact lenses or glasses – until you reach your early 60s. At this point, your vision should stop getting worse.

How is presbyopia treated?
Presbyopia can be corrected by wearing multifocal contact lenses or glasses. Multifocal contact lenses focus light from both near, intermediate, and far distances to the back of the eye, creating the clearest possible image. This unique system uses two different, yet complementary, lenses that work together to provide clear vision near, far, and in between.

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