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Nearsightedness (myopia) is a common vision condition in which you can see objects near to you clearly, but objects farther away are blurry. The degree of your nearsightedness determines your ability to focus on distant objects. People with severe nearsightedness can see clearly only objects just a few inches away, while those with mild nearsightedness may clearly see objects several yards away. Nearsightedness may develop gradually or rapidly, often worsening during childhood and adolescence. Nearsightedness tends to run in families.
Astigmatism is a general inability of the eye to focus clearly at any distance because the curvature of the cornea is not symmetrical. Instead of being spherical, the cornea has more curvature in one meridian than the other. In other words, the eye’s main focusing element has two curvatures, shaped like a football instead of a basketball.
Nobody has a perfectly symmetrical cornea, but the distortion is so slight in most eyes that it does not significantly affect vision. However, possessing more than a slight degree of astigmatism can be a major refractive problem.
When you suffer from hyperopia, or farsightedness, nearby objects appear blurry, while those farther away are typically much clearer. This occurs when the cornea is not curved enough or the eye is too short in relation to its focusing components. As a result, light does not have enough space to focus correctly onto the retina and, therefore, goes beyond the correct point, causing blurry vision. Hyperopia is commonly confused with presbyopia, which is an age-related change to your vision. However, being farsighted can occur at any age and is often inherited genetically, while presbyopia is typically noticed around age 40 due to the aging process.
If you have trouble seeing objects close up, you may find yourself squinting on a regular basis, as well as experiencing eyestrain and headaches. Due to these recurrent problems, consulting an eye doctor can not only help you feel better but also see more clearly. If you wish to undergo a procedure like Lasik or refractive lens exchange, our team can help you find the right solution for your needs and lifestyle.
A cataract is a clouding of the eye's natural lens, which lies behind the iris and the pupil.
Cataracts are the most common cause of vision loss in people over age 40 and is the principal cause of blindness in the world. In fact, there are more cases of cataracts worldwide than there are of glaucoma, macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy combined, according to Prevent Blindness America (PBA).
Signs and symptoms of cataracts include:
Glaucoma is an eye disease in which fluid builds up causing excess pressure that damages the optic nerve. More than 3 million Americans are affected by glaucoma, and it is a top cause of blindness for people over 40 years old. The most common type, called open angle glaucoma, can cause irreversible damage to vision without any prior symptoms. Open angle glaucoma is most common in people over 65, but can develop as young as 40. Since glaucoma can occur with no warning signs, regular eye exams are critical to early detection. If left untreated, glaucoma can cause irreparable vision loss.
The human eye has natural fluid called aqueous humor, which fills the space between the lens and the cornea. In patients with glaucoma, the fluid builds up because the eye’s drainage canal is blocked. The excess fluid creates intraocular pressure, which in turn damages the optic nerve. This pressure is rarely painful, so without regular eye exams glaucoma may go unnoticed until the gradual loss of vision becomes significant.
Anyone can be affected by glaucoma, but there are genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors that can contribute to increased likelihood of the disease. Although most common in people over 65, anyone who may be at higher risk should take care to speak with their doctor about checking for glaucoma early and often. High risk categories include those with a family history of the disease, African Americans over 40 years old, people with prolonged use of certain medications such as corticosteroids, and people who have thin corneas, diabetes, or high blood pressure. You may be able to lower your risk of developing glaucoma with lifestyle choices such as maintaining a healthy weight, eating a variety of vitamin rich fruits and vegetables, and avoiding smoking. Regular, comprehensive eye exams are the most important factor in preventing vision loss from glaucoma.
Presbyopia is something that usually occurs around age 40, even if you’ve never had a vision problem before. You may start to experience blurry vision when reading or looking at your smartphone. Then, focusing between distances can become more difficult.
Presbyopia develops gradually. You may first notice these signs and symptoms after age 40:
You may notice these symptoms are worse if you are tired or are in an area with dim lighting.