Myopia is a medical term for people who are nearsighted. People who are nearsighted can see things up close clearly, but things at a distance appear out of focus. Myopia occurs when the eye is too long, or the cornea is too curved. This type of refractive error (a problem with how the eye focuses light), causes the light that is entering the eye to focus in front of the retina, instead of directly onto it, resulting in blurred images at a distance.
Myopia is thought to be hereditary, but prolonged visual strain is also being looked at as a possible cause.
People with high myopia should have regular eye exams because they are at greater risk for developing retinal detachments, glaucoma, and cataracts. Early detection of both retinal detachments and glaucoma is critical for maintaining good vision.
Hyperopia is a medical term for people who are farsighted. People who are farsighted can see things at a distance clearly, but things up close appear out of focus. Hyperopia occurs when the eye is too short, or the cornea is not curved enough. This type of refractive error causes the light that is entering the eye to focus beyond the retina, instead of directly onto it, resulting in blurred images up close.
Presbyopia is an age-related vision condition characterized by blurry vision up close. It is caused by a gradual thickening, with a subsequent loss of flexibility, of the natural lens in your eye. The loss of flexibility occurs slowly over time, but people usually become symptomatic at around 40 years of age. Trouble reading, doing close work, or working at the computer are common symptoms.
Astigmatism is a type of refractive error that can cause images to be blurred at all distances. Astigmatism can be due to due to an irregularly shaped cornea (corneal astigmatism) or and irregularly shaped lens (lenticular astigmatism).
- Corneal astigmatism occurs when the cornea is shaped like a football, instead of round like a basketball. This football shaped cornea causes the light that enters the eye to be focused on two points in the retina, instead of just one, resulting in blurred or distorted vision at both a distance and at near.
- Lenticular astigmatism occurs when the lens of the eye is not perfectly round. This irregularly shaped lens causeds the light that enters the eye to be focused in front and beyond the retina, resulting in blurred or distorted vision at all distances.
- Lenticular atigmatism is common in diabetics whose blood sugar levels are not controlled. During episodes of elevated blood sugar levels, sugar and subsequently water, enters the lens and causes it to change shape. Once blood sugar levels have normalized, the lens also returns to its normal shape, and the blurred vision dissipates. Before being checked for glasses, diabetic patients should have normal blood sugar readings for about two weeks, in order to receive an acurate prescription.
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