When a person has normal vision, light rays are refracted or bent by the lens and cornea in your eye and then focused on the retina. The retina refers to the layer of nerves that lines the back of your eyeball. Your brain receives the picture that is created by the light rays via the optic nerve when the retina receives it. When this process is disrupted or distorted in some way, vision problems occur and corrective lenses are required. Some of the most common vision disturbances that require eyeglasses are caused by refractive errors within the eye. Four of the most common vision problems that people experience are nearsightedness, farsightedness, presbyopia and astigmatism.
Nearsightedness is also known as myopia, and is one reason that your optometrist would prescribe eyeglasses for you. When you have myopia, you can see objects that are up close quite clearly, but objects that are farther away become blurry or out of focus. You may need glasses due to myopia if your cornea has more curvature than is necessary, or if your eyeball is too long. When this occurs, the light rays focus at a point in front of your retina instead of directly on its surface. If you require eyeglasses for myopia you may tend to squint a lot when you look far away. Kids with myopia may have trouble seeing the blackboard, or may prefer to sit close to the television.
Another common condition that requires vision correction with eyeglasses is farsightedness, known medically as hyperopia, which is essentially the reverse of myopia. With hyperopia, you can see distant objects clearly, but up close viewing becomes distorted and out of focus. When you have hyperopia, your eyeball may be too short or your cornea may have less curvature than it needs. You need glasses for hyperopia because the light rays focus behind your retina rather than right on it. Eyestrain, burning eyes, fatigue, blurry vision of close objects and headache are some symptoms that would alert you to the possibility that you need some corrective eyeglasses for hyperopia.
If your vision is blurry and distorted both near and far, it is known as astigmatism. With astigmatism, your cornea is not as round as it should be, and it affects your entire field of vision. Anyone can develop a mild case of astigmatism at virtually any point in life, and it doesn’t always require you to wear eyeglasses. It will be up to your eye doctor to decide if you need glasses or not. More severe astigmatism is an inherited condition that often requires eyeglasses from a young age.
Presbyopia is a condition that refers to the loss of elasticity in the lens of your eye. It is technically a farsighted eye condition that worsens with age and requires eyeglasses because you have trouble reading materials at close range. People with presbyopia who need eyeglasses sometimes hold reading material at arm’s length to be able to bring the words into focus. This is the condition most commonly associated with bifocals.
Your visual health is a precious asset, so it’s vital to make regular visits to your optometrist. There’s no need for eyesight to be an obstacle in your life.
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