Do you Need Glasses or Not?
IS IT POSSIBLE THAT YOU NEED GLASSES?
You’d think that you’d know if your vision wasn’t great right? But that’s not always true. If you think about it, we see the way we see from the time we’re little. If we haven’t had regular eye check-ups, this is normal for us. We don’t know any better. We think everyone sees this way. Just today I had a patient, who’s complaint was that his reading is bad, but his distance vision is great. His distance vision turned out to be 5 lines below normal.
This is one really good reason to have your eyes tested regularly. You could be missing out on some of the beautiful sights that life has to offer, or you could realise that your partner isn’t exactly as good looking as you thought. Just kidding. I had this patient once, who had really bad vision, and on collecting his glasses, he put them on and said “Wow! I can see!”. Then, turned to his wife and said, “Eish, you’ve gone old!”. He was just kidding too 😊. It’s important to have 20/20 vision for many reasons though.
THE NAUGHTY FORTIES:
Have you crossed over to the 40’s, and suddenly, can’t read anymore? Don’t panic! You’re not going blind! It’s normal. When we look at something far away, our eyes are parallel and so our eye muscles are relaxed. When we read, our eyes are converging, and this gives our eye muscles a workout. After 40, these muscles start to harden (sclerose), so we can’t see as near anymore. We need to push things further and further away to see it clearly. The good news is that we can fix this. You can get multifocals (the best option), reading glasses (a meh option) or buy a selfie stick. When you first start noticing this reduced vision, go to your optometrist. There is a beautiful lens option that is easy to get used to. It’s called an accommodative support lens and works brilliantly.
DOES DIABETES AFFECT YOUR VISION?
Yes, unfortunately! Diabetes is one of the few conditions that causes fluctuating vision. Your vision changes during the course of the day. With diabetes, your sugar levels are increasing and decreasing throughout the day. An hour or so after eating, your sugar levels rise and then drop again as your body processes the food. When your sugar is high, your vision blurs. For this reason, ALWAYS test your eyes when your sugar is normal. If you don’t your glasses may not work when you get them. The best time to test your eyes is in the morning before breakfast. At our practice we test your sugar first, then decide whether it’s okay to test your eyes. Visit your ophthalmologist if you have diabetes for over 5 years. It does sometimes have effects on your retina that can be controlled if detected early.
CAN HEADACHES BE RELATED TO MY VISION?
If you get headaches on your forehead or your temples, it’s likely that you have a visual problem. Wearing glasses could likely improve these kinds of headaches.
SHOULD I HAVE MY KIDS’ EYES TESTED WHEN THEY START SCHOOLING?
Oh definitely! There’s an interesting shift in vision, that I’ve noticed among kids over the last few years. Children’s eyes only develop fully at around 6 years old. Up till 6, they are all slightly far-sighted. This is normal. Nowadays though, many kids are not outgrowing this far-farsightedness till much later. I suspect that this shift is related to how much of time they are spending on electronic devices. But that’s very difficult to control these days. Far-farsightedness causes strain when they are reading for long periods, blurring sometimes, and even double vision. Of course, this could affect their schoolwork and performance at exams. So please have your kids’ eyes tested regularly. They could need glasses, sometimes just for a few years before they outgrow them.
DOES WEARING GLASSES MAKE YOUR EYES WORSE, OR IS THIS AN OLD WIVES’ TALE?
It’s the latter! I don’t know who came up with this, but it makes no sense. On the contrary if you don’t wear glasses, you can cause damage to your vision. Your brain gets so accustomed to not seeing clearly, that when you do get glasses, your brain can’t adjust to this. Glasses on the other hand, reduces the strain on your eyes giving you clear comfortable vision. It also, mostly makes both eyes see equally, also reducing strain. So, if you need glasses, wear them!
WHY ARE MULTIFOCALS SO DIFFICULT TO USE?
Multifocals like anything else, needs some getting used to, or practice. The design is by blending the distance prescription into the reading prescription. This allows you to see at all distances clearly. You need a bit of training though. You also must use them from the time you wake up till you go to bed, everyday for the first week! Then you will get used to them, and wonder what the big deal was. It’s truly the best option. Technology today has its perks. We have super awesome multifocals that are almost like single visions. You can pop in to our practice and see how these lenses will look with our virtual reality gadget.
DO COMPUTER SCREENS AND OTHER ELECTRONIC DEVICES AFFECT YOUR SLEEPING PATTERNS?
Some studies have shown that blue light emitted from electronic devices affects the melatonin released in your retina. Melatonin is involved in your sleeping patterns. So yes, electronic devices can cause sleeping disturbances. We have anti-glare coatings that protect your eyes against blue light though, some coatings more than others. So, ask your optometrist about this when you’re getting your next pair of glasses. Many of the new phones and computers have a blue light filter on them, so switch this on. This helps as well.
That’s it folks! Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions at all.