Why do I need glasses?
The eye is similar to a camera, and much like a camera, it requires light to be in good focus for clear vision. When the eye does not focus light well enough on its own, glasses are needed to help bring an image into focus.
Glasses can correct errors in the focus of the eye known as Myopia (Near-sightedness), Hyperopia (Far-sightedness) and astigmatism (asymmetry in the curvature of the eye).
What is the difference between Myopia and Hyperopia?
Myopia is a refractive condition where the eye is in best focus up close or at computer distance. Distant objects tend to be out of focus and are blurry. Hyperopia is the refractive opposite. Distant objects are in focus, but near objects tend to be blurry. You will need a prescription from your doctor for this lens.
Why do I need reading glasses?
At around age 40, the lens and its supporting structures begin to lose their ability to focus on small print and near objects. This process is called Presbyopia and happens in everyone. Unfortunately, there is no way to reverse this process, but options are available for treatment.
What is astigmatism?
Astigmatism is a condition that causes vision to be defocused, often related to the shape of the cornea. People who don’t have astigmatism have a cornea that has a round shape, like a basketball. A cornea that has astigmatism would tend to have a less rounded shape such as a football. Because the cornea focuses light into the eye, this lack of perfect sphericity will cause light passing through it to be out of focus. This can be corrected by glasses, contact lenses or refractive surgery (LASIK or PRK). Astigmatism is not a disease, but it can indicate an underlying problem if it is severe or irregularly shaped (such as with keratoconus or scarring).
How often should I get an eye exam?
We typically recommend getting an annual eye exam. This allows your eye doctor to update your prescription and screen for eye diseases that may be asymptomatic in their early stages.
Eye exams are useful for screening for eye diseases such as diabetes, glaucoma and macular degeneration. These diseases need to be managed even if they are asymptomatic. Your doctor can perform exams and testing that can track the progression of these diseases, which are important to prevent vision loss from the worsening of these conditions.
What can I expect during my eye exam?
When you first check in for your visit, you will be asked to fill out a medical history form, which includes your eye, medical and surgical histories, a list of your medications and allergies. During your exam, you will first meet with a person called a tech. A tech is there to gather preliminary information such as the history of your problem, visual acuity testing, refraction for glasses, a pressure check and to perform any additional testing your doctor may need to evaluate your eyes.
Once the tech is finished, you will see your doctor. They will perform the remainder of your examination, discuss their findings and recommend a treatment course. The examination by your doctor will often include a dilated exam and they may ask for additional testing. Once your questions have been answered, you will make a follow up visit if needed.
At Corneal Consultants of Colorado, we encourage you to ask questions about your exam, diagnosis and treatment plan. We want you to have an understanding of your eye health and what you can do to optimize your vision.