Having myopia or short-sightedness means that you do not see objects in the distance clearly. This is because the images that enter the eye are focused in front of the retina, rather than on the retina and therefore are blurred. The incidence of myopia is rising in Australia and there is research to suggest that environmental factors such as increased use of digital devices and other ‘close work’ mean that the eyes are not getting sufficient exposure to sunlight and outdoor activities. Children and teenagers are particularly at risk of developing myopia. This condition requires vision correction and eye health monitoring as it can lead to eye health complications such as retinal detachment later in life.
At Andrew Mizzi Optometrist we are prescribing the MiSight 1 day disposable contact lens for children with progressive myopia – the first soft contact lens proven to slow the progression of myopia. Please see us in store for further information.
Having hyperopia or long-sightedness means that the images that enter the eye are focused behind the retina, rather than on the retina, leading to symptoms that may include blurred vision, difficulty maintaining focus far and close vision, headaches, eye strain, poor concentration, poor comprehension and poor development of reading skills. To make vision clear and comfortable, hyperopia is treated with corrective lenses, either glasses or contact lenses.
Astigmatism is probably the eye health word that is most confusing for patients! What is it? It is caused when the eye’s cornea is not a regular shape – for example, rather than being shaped like a soccer ball, it’s shaped like a rugby ball. When images enter the eye, they are focused in an irregular way and this can lead to blurred vision, headaches and eye strain. Astigmatism can be in combination with myopia and hyperopia or just on its own. It can be corrected with glasses or the latest contact lenses specifically for astigmatic patients.
When you reach that magical age somewhere between your early to mid 40’s, you’ll become acquainted with presbyopia – it’s part of the eye’s normal ageing process. The lens of the eye starts to lose its flexibility and this leads to an inability to focus on close objects. This means that objects must be held further away (for example, the newspaper or a book) to be seen clearly. Presbyopia is corrected by a specific optical prescription for close work – options include reading glasses, extended focus glasses (where you can read and work at a computer or digital device), multifocal glasses or multifocal contact lenses.