It is important to have regular eye exams to ensure that refractive errors are being corrected properly and that the risk for developing serious eye diseases is reduced. You shouldn't wait to experience poor vision or eye discomfort before seeing an eye doctor.
While it may be good practice to take eye vitamins and always wear proper eyewear (prescription or not), it is important to understand that these actions cannot take the place of a regular comprehensive eye exam by a trained professional.
People experience refractive errors when light does not focus perfectly onto their retina. Refractive errors include:
- Hyperopia or farsightedness Not to be confused with presbyopia, farsighted people typically have good distance vision, but find it difficult to focus on objects in close range.
- Myopia or nearsightedness The opposite of hyperopia, myopic people have difficulty seeing things at a distance, but can see near objects clearly.
- Astigmatism Irregularly shaped corneas or lenses impacts vision at all distances. Symptoms of astigmatism include experience blurry and distorted vision at all distances, eye strain and headaches.
Presbyopia is another common vision problem that affects one's ability to see up close. Over the course of time, the eye's lens becomes less flexible and focusing becomes more of a challenge. Several options are available to correct presbyopia-related vision problems: including refractive surgery, implantable lenses and multifocal eyeglasses and contact lenses.
Most refractive errors can be corrected with glasses, contacts, or refractive surgery.
Eyeglasses are the oldest method of vision correction. Today's eyeglass frames allow people to express their own personality and style while improving their vision. Lenses and frames are available in a variety of materials, shapes and colors. Modern frames and lenses can be made out of shatter resistant materials to insure that the wearer's eyes are protected.
About one-fifth of the American population that requires vision correction wears contact lenses. Popularized in the 1950s, people elect to wear contacts for a variety of reasons. Contact lenses come in a variety of materials, varying replacement schedules and cosmetic effects. Conditions like astigmatism and keratoconus no longer exclude people from being able to wear contact lenses; people with these eye conditions can be fitted with specialty lenses. These custom contacts are available in both rigid gas permeable and soft lens materials.
The newest form of correction available to the public is refractive surgery. Advertising for refractive procedures like LASIK and PRK is everywhere, but it is important to understand that candidacy for an aforementioned procedure doesn't mean that the procedure is the best fit. An informed patient should research how to select a refractive surgeon, the desired procedure's potential risks and the associated surgery costs. Before electing to have refractive surgery, it's important to consult with a surgeon about various options.
All About Vision contains numerous articles on refractive surgeries and includes a directory of skilled LASIK surgeons in locations throughout North America and abroad. Surgeons in major cities such as London, Chicago and New York City are listed in addition to LASIK Los Angeles surgeons who treat patients throughout Southern California.
Each year many are affected by eye conditions that may or may not be serious. Red eyes, for example, could mean pink eye or itchy eyes caused by allergies. A lump in the eye area could mean a stye or chalazion.
Other symptoms may signal a more serious problem. The occurrence of floaters and spots in the field of vision could potentially be harmless, or a sign of a detached retina. People should see their eye doctor for regular check-ups to ensure that they don't develop serious eye diseases, such as cataracts, macular degeneration, glaucoma and keratoconus, which is treatable with procedures such as keratoconus cxl treatment.
Keratoconus is a condition in which the cornea thins and begins to bulge into a cone-like shape, as opposed to remaining round. This inhibits light from properly focusing on the retina, therefore distorting vision. Keratoconus treatment may include procedures such as keratoconus corneal collagen crosslinking to prevent the progression of the disease, as well as eyeglasses or contact lenses.
Glaucoma is a debilitating eye disease that affects many Americans. Increases in eye pressure (intraocular pressure or IOP) to dangerous levels can damage the optic nerve. If left untreated, peripheral vision will decrease (this is sometimes referred to as "tunnel vision") and, eventually, lead to blindness. This disease is the second leading cause of blindness in the United States and frequently ranks as the leading cause in countries around the world.
Macular degeneration is another eye disease that can lead to debilitating effects. This disease affects the light sensitive part of the eye known as the macula, and can result in vision loss.
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