The most common vision condition of the eye. It occurs when the eyeball is too long, or the cornea is too steep and the eye is then overpowered. This causes light rays to focus at a point in front of the retina. This can be corrected by glasses, contact lenses or refractive surgery.
A vision condition in which the eye is too short, or the cornea is too flat and the eye is then underpowered. This causes light rays to focus behind, instead of on the retina. This can be corrected by glasses, contact lenses or refractive surgery.
A very common vision condition that results when the cornea is not spherical (round) and looks closer in shape to a football. This causes light rays to focus at two points around the retina. This can be corrected by glasses, contact lenses or refractive surgery.
Astigmatism is a normal variation of the cornea, it does not come from reading or using your eyes “too much” or reading in dim light.
What It’s Like to Have Astigmatism?
Astigmatic images are never sharp and crisp, either close-up or at distance. If you have a large amount of astigmatism, your vision may be very blurred. Straight lines running in one direction may be more blurred than lines running in another; for example, only the vertical edges of a window may appear out-of-focus. As you try to overcome the blur and see more clearly, you might get a headache from continually contracting the muscles around your eyes and furrowing your brows (actions that may be so automatic that you aren’t aware of them).
Presbyopia (pres-bee-oh-pee-uh) is a normal loss in focusing ability up close that happens to everyone with age. (The word is from Greek origins and means “old sight.”) Most people are between the ages of 40 and 50 when they first become aware that they are losing the ability to see objects or reading matter close to their eyes. For example, The print in the telephone book or prescription bottles becomes “too small” to read. One may have to hold their cell phone farther from their eyes or increase the size of the font to see it clearly. At the same time, their distance vision remains normal.
What Causes Presbyopia?
In young people, the lens within the eye is soft and flexible. Its shape can change readily to enable the eye to accommodate (change focus) quickly and automatically between close-up and far-away objects. With increasing age, the lens gradually loses its flexibility and hardens, which results in a decreased ability to focus at close range.
Glasses can correct most visual disorders of the eyes. Once diagnosed by your eye specialist with a visual error, glasses will help you see better at all distances.
For someone with presbyopia, reading glasses or multifocals will be needed. As focusing ability continues to decline, it is common to need to have the lenses changed every few years. Then, sometime between the ages of 65 and 70, most of the near focusing power will be gone. From then on, your prescription for reading will relatively stay the same if the eyes are free from any disease or cataracts.
People sometimes notice that their presbyopia gets “worse” after they start wearing reading glasses, and they believe that the glasses are responsible. The fact is, once you start wearing glasses, your brain adjusts to what good vision looks like and you will notice the difference between your eyes and what it should be. You may notice you become more dependent on needing help to read up close. Presbyopia unfortunately worsens until a certain point whether you wear glasses or not, and putting off the use of corrective lenses will not slow down the natural change in your eyes, only will make things blurrier and harder to see anything up close.
If you are noticing changes in your vision, contact Magruder Eye Institute today to schedule an appointment with one of our Optometrists.