Eyecare Definitions and Information
Diabetes and Your eyes
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Presbyopia is the loss in elasticity of the lens that results in progressive degradation of near vision because it becomes more difficult for the lens to focus on near objects. Presbyopia is caused because the eye stops growing in your early teenage years, but the lens continues growing and eventually hardens and loses its flexibility. Presbyopia usually develops around the mid-forties, but development varies by person. The decline is a natural component of the aging process and occurs over the course of several years. It cannot be prevented.
Signs of presbyopia include the tendency to hold items being read at arm's length, blurred vision when items are at a normal distance, and eye fatigue and headaches when attempting to read at a close distance. To diagnose presbyopia visit a doctor of optometry for a comprehensive eye examination that includes a test of near vision. Your optometrist will generally prescribe multifocal lenses to compensate for the condition. Due to the frequent changes of the lens after 40, you may need frequent changes in your glasses or contact lenses. Presbyopia should not have a significant impact on your life as long as you continue to receive comprehensive optometric examinations.
Myopia is a vision condition where the eye is not round enough, resulting in a focal point in front of the eye's retina. This condition results in defective far vision and is commonly referred to as nearsightedness.
Astigmatism is a common visual condition caused by an irregularly shaped cornea. The cornea is oval instead of round, which does not allow the image to focus properly on the retina. The effect is a blurred or distorted image. Astigmatism is treated with special toric lenses, please see your doctor of optometry for diagnosis and lenses.
Cataracts are the visual condition where the lenses become cloudy or opaque. Cataracts usually develop in persons over age 55. There are no definite ways to prevent cataracts, but reducing sun exposure, stopping smoking, and eating a balanced diet may be helpful in their prevention. A visit to your doctor of optometry can determine if you have a cataract forming. If the cataract affects your daily life, you will be referred to an eye surgeon who may recommend surgery to remove the cataract and replace the lens with an intraocular implant.
Glaucoma is a disease of the eye where the internal pressure of the eye builds up to a point that harms the optic nerve, which carries the visual input to the brain. Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in the United States. Glaucoma typically affects persons over 40 and it is estimated that over 2 million are affected by it. This disease is one of the reasons that it is so important for people over 35 to receive regular optometric examinations as a preventive measure. Damage from glaucoma is irreversible. If diagnosed early, you may be able to control glaucoma and prevent further vision loss. Treatment for glaucoma includes prescription eye drops and medication, and possibly laser therapy or surgery.
Macular degeneration is the degeneration of the macula, the central section of the retina. This degeneration affects central vision and is the most common cause of blindness in people over 50.
Diabetes and Your Eyes
Complications arising from diabetes can affect your eye and your vision. The most serious diabetic eye problem is diabetic retinopathy, which is blood leakage due to a weakening or swelling of the tiny blood vessels in the eye's retina, and can result in blindness if untreated. Early detection is vital. To prevent vision loss from diabetes, be sure to control your diabetes as much as possible as well as receiving routine eye examinations to diagnose changes in the eye that may potentially be threatening to your vision. Other risk factors include smoking, high blood pressure and pregnancy.
Visit these links for more extensive information on the anatomy of the eye and visual conditions.
This information is to help you learn about some of the lens options available. This explanation is not exhaustive, and if the option you desire is not listed, please ask your eye care professional. Click on a link below to read about the category.
Optional Lens Treatments
There are two main types of lenses. Single vision lenses are all-purpose and can be used for near or distance vision. Multifocal lenses combine near and distance correction into one lens. This group includes bifocals (near and far), trifocals (mainly distance, with a section for intermediate and near), and no-line progressives. No-line progressives provide the benefits of the other multi-focals while maintaining the appearance of single lens glasses because they lack a visible line.
Plastic or hard resin glasses weigh less than glass and can be easily tinted. They are also more impact resistant than glass. Glass is the most scratch resistant and offers superior optics, but much heavier than the plastic alternatives. Polycarbonate lenses are the most impact-resistant and are very lightweight. They are ideal for children and very active people. Thinner, lighter lenses are special high-index lenses, which are more comfortable and attractive, especially for those with very strong prescriptions.
Specialty lenses are designed for certain work, hobby, or other recreational activities, such as sports, that need special lenses for vision correction and or eye protection. Examples are sports and computer lenses. Sports lenses emphasize safety, therefore they are frequently made out of polycarbonate. Computer lenses are useful for those who use computers more than two hours a day. These lenses include special filters and anti-reflection coatings. Other special occupational designs are available, please work with your eye care professional to determine which customized lens is best for you.
Optional Lens Treatment
One common lens treatment is UV protection which shields your eyes from harmful ultraviolet rays. Scratch-resistant coatings help protect lenses from everyday wear and tear. Anti-reflection coating helps reduce eye fatigue especially for those who use frequently use computers or drive at night. They also remove distracting reflections which enhances vision. Other lens options include the flatter, and therefore lighter weight, lenses which are made by using aspheric or atoric designs.
Ultraviolet radiation from the sun is associated with cataract development and it can damage the retina, therefore it is essential to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays. Polarized lenses are the best for eliminating glare, and also ease eye stress and fatigue in the sun. Most lenses can also be tinted in a variety of shades and colors. Mirrored lenses provide a reflective surface that protect your eyes from glare. Photosensitive lenses darken and lighten with varying degrees of light in the environment. Please ask you eye care professional for a demonstration.
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