Over 140 million people in the U.S. wear eyeglasses, and over 30 million wear contact lenses. Glasses and contact lenses improve vision by adjusting the way the eyes bend and focus light. Ideally, light rays are refracted (bent) as they pass through the cornea and the lens in the eye so that they are focused on the retina in the back of the eye. However, many people’s eyes have a combination of corneal curvature and lens power which causes light rays to focus in front of or behind the retina. Objects may then appear blurry at certain distances or at all distances.
Patients with myopia, or nearsightedness, can focus on nearby objects, but distant objects appear blurry because the image is focused in front of the retina. For hyperopic or farsighted patients nearby objects appear blurry while objects in the distance are clear. After approximately age 40, both distance and near vision may be blurry. Astigmatism means than optically, the eye surface has a steeper curve in one axis than another so that light rays entering the eye are bent differently. This can cause objects that are close or at a distance to appear blurry or doubled, especially in dim light. Most people have some degree of astigmatism, which often occurs in combination with myopia or hyperopia.
Glasses, contact lenses, and refractive surgery are options for correcting these refractive errors. Prescriptions are measured for each eye so patients can enjoy optimal vision clarity, usually 20/20. Eyewear may be used for certain activities, such as reading for hyperopic patients and driving or watching television for myopic patients, or may be worn at all times.
Regular eye exams test for the development and progression of refractive errors and help your ophthalmologist at Physicians Eye Care and Laser Center to provide a proper prescription if eyeglasses or contact lenses are needed. Exams are also an invaluable tool in the early detection of eye disease.
Your complete eye exam at Physicians Eye Care and Laser Center will include: