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A basic diagram of the inside of our eye
 

Your eyesight and the health of your eyes

Your vision is extremely important, out of all our senses,
our vision has probably the most profound effect on the
way we interact within our world. Our modern environment
is saturated with visual signs and cues, not to mention the
beauty of the world around us.
It is all too easy to take our vision for granted, but surely
making the most of our sight is worth the effort.

Most people will require help with their eyesight at some
stage in their lives, especially as they get older.
Blurred vision can, however, take several different forms
and these are described below.

Click the links below to find out about each condition and the way it can be corrected.

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Short sight (Myopia)

Long Sight (Hyperopia)

Astigmatism

Presbyopia

Other eye health problems

 

Short Sight (Myopia)

This is when the eye is unable to focus on objects far away, yet can focus on objects that are close. This can be easily corrected by using a concave lens that produces a negative refractive power. You can see this power on your prescription, where the Sphere (or Sph) number has a minus - symbol in front of it.

 

Long Sight (Hyperopia)

This is the opposite to Myopia, where the eye can focus on objects far away, but is unable to focus on objects that are close. This can be easily corrected by a convex lens that produces a positive power. You can see this power on your prescription, where the Sphere (or Sph) number has a positive + symbol in front of it.

 

Astigmatism

Often described as your eye being 'rugby ball' shaped, Astigmatism is where the cornea does not have a perfectly round or spherical profile. This creates an oval shape, deforming the image that is refracted to the retina at the back of the eye. This can be corrected by incorporating what is known as cylindrical or 'Toroidal' curve to the lens represented by the Cyl or Cylinder power in your prescription. This power is also linked to the 'Axis' on your prescription which dictates the orientation of the cyl power.

 

Presbyopia

This is often known as 'age related long sightedness' This usually occurs from around 40 years of age onward and will affect everybody at some point. This is due to the flexible lens within the eye losing its elasticity and it's ability to focus light from a nearby object. You will notice this usually as reading becomes more difficult and moving an object away from you to arms length improves focus. This can be easily corrected with a 'reading addition', a power that is added to the 'Sph' portion of your prescription. This is usually achieved in one of three ways:


1) with a single vision lens that has your reading prescription.

2) with a Bifocal lens that incorporates both distance and reading powers.

3) with a Varifocal lens, that works in the same way as a Bifocal but has much more flexibility of use.

 

Other eye health problems

The eye is very complex organ, and as such is susceptible to many health problems. The most common of these are diseases such as Glaucoma, Cataracts and Diabetic Retinopathy. Glaucoma is a condition where an increase of pressure of the fluid inside the eye can cause damage to the optic nerve. This can be easily detected during a normal eye examination, by using a Tonometer. This is usually performed by blowing a small amount of air onto the surface of the eye and measuring the resistance. Although this can be slightly unpleasant it is a very useful tool for the Optometrist and can help earlier diagnosis of Glaucoma which, if untreated in its acute form, can lead to blindness.
Cataract is the name given  to an opaque or cloudy area of the lens inside the eye. Early diagnosis is very important for treatment and severe cataracts can be removed in a short surgical proceedure.
Diabetic Retinopathy refers to disorders of the retinal blood vessels caused by diabetes. Regular eye exams can lead to early detection of vascular problems and this condition can be helped with laser treatment.

These are just a few of many diseases that can affect the eye. Regular eye exams can mean the difference between perfectly healthy eyes and loss of vision. It is important to attend an eye exam at least every two years and more frequently if advised to do so by an Optometrist.

If you have any concerns about the health of your eyes, then you should arrange to see our Optometrist for an eye exam.
*Please note that any sudden or acute changes in your vision, that come on in a short space of time, should prompt you to attend the Emergency clinic at the Hospital*

If you would like any more information about eye health then feel free to chat to our Optometrist Mr Syed Ali BSc
or visit: The National Eye Institute www.nei.nih.gov