Your Eyes – How Everything Works
Save our sight month is right around the corner, and there’s no better time to give your eyes some attention than right now.
In our earlier pieces, we’ve touched on ominous diseases like Glaucoma, which have no symptoms to speak of until vision is irreparably lost. This time we’ll steer away from all the doom and gloom, to discuss some of the more common problems affecting us as we age and which are very normal.
Everyone is affected by presbyopia after the age of 40. Inside the eye is a lens. By changing the shape of the lens, our eyes can change focus from distance to near and everything in between. This lens loses its elasticity over time. This means our ability to focus on close objects or small print will gradually decline with age. Presbyopia affects everyone, from those who have had glasses their entire life to those who have always considered their eyesight perfect. Fortunately, we can prescribe lenses designed to help.
A person with myopia, commonly called short-sightedness, will experience blurred distance vision while being able to see clearly up close. Short-sighted people will find objects become clearer as they move closer to them. Their eyes are too long and the picture forms in front of the retina. Myopia is corrected with a lens designed to move the image back onto the retina, making distant objects clear once again. For children with myopia, we now have a myopia control clinic. New methods and technology are used to slow the progression of short sight during these important developmental years.
A person with hyperopia, also called long-sightedness, can generally see easily at any distance. However, when objects are closer, the eye has to adjust the focus because the image forms behind the retina. Generally the eye can adjust but sometimes, the eye is not powerful enough to make this special effort and the images become blurry. This effort can cause fatigue and headaches. Hyperopia requires lenses designed to converge light, relieving the headaches and visual fatigue.
Article By Ross Hardey.
Ross Hardey is an Optometrist practising at Hawera Eyecare. He has a special interest in visual development and the ageing eye.