The National Eye Institute has found that around 42% of Americans between 12 and 54 are nearsighted. This means that objects up close are clear, while objects farther away are blurry. Millions also have farsightedness, which is the exact opposite. Objects farther away are clear, while objects up close are blurry. These are some of the most common vision problems alongside astigmatism, which also tops the list. All of these vision problems are refractive errors of the eye, and are very common. Luckily, glasses, contact lenses, and refractive surgery such as LASIK can correct these vision problems and provide you with the clearer vision you desire. Learn what eye condition you have and what options are available to correct your vision today!
Millions of people wear glasses and contact lenses in order to see every day. Not having 20/20 vision is actually quite common. In fact, The National Eye Institute found that 42% of Americans between 12 and 54 are nearsighted. Many more are farsighted or have astigmatism. Nearsightedness is the term to describe a refractive error of the eye. You may also know it by the name “myopia”. Objects up close are clear, while objects farther away are blurry. The exact cause of myopia is unknown, but it may be an inherited trait as people are more likely to have it if their parents or siblings have it.
Farsightedness is the exact opposite refractive error, as objects farther away are seen clearly, while objects up close are blurry. There are far less people that have farsightedness than nearsightedness, but still a significant portion of people. You may know farsightedness by another term “presbyopia”. Presbyopia often occurs in patients after age 40 and especially after age 60. You may enjoy perfect vision all your life until around age 40, when you might have to wear glasses in order to read or to see objects up close. Presbyopia is a common age-related refractive error but can affect a person regardless of age.
Although nearsightedness and farsightedness are the most common refractive errors of the eyes, astigmatism is also very common. This condition is caused when your eye is not completely round—it is more of a rugby ball shape. Your eye is naturally shaped like a sphere. Under normal circumstances, light will enter your eye, where it bends and forms into an image at the back of your eye (on the retina).
However, in a person with astigmatism, light will bend in one direction more than another, or focuses at two different points, which causes blurry vision. People with astigmatism have symptoms such as: headaches, blurred or distorted vision, eyestrain, discomfort or they have night vision problems or feel the need to squint. You can correct this problem with glasses or contact lenses.
Glasses are an easy way to correct blurry vision if your problem stems from a refractive error of the eyes. You simply put the glasses on when you need them and take them off when you don’t. However, if you want to enjoy perfect vision all day long, you can invest in contact lenses—small, thin lenses that go directly in your eyes that are customized to your specific prescription. Over 30 million people wear contact lenses. There are many different kinds of lenses depending on your vision and if you want colored contacts. If you choose this option, annual contact lens examinations are necessary for maintaining the health of your eyes.
Some patients want a more permanent solution to their vision problems. One of those solutions is LASIK eye surgery. LASIK stands for “Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis”. This is the most common refractive eye surgery today. By 2011, over 11 million LASIK procedures had been performed in the United States and around 28 million procedures worldwide. LASIK is used to correct vision problems that have to deal with refractive errors such as myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism.
An ophthalmologist uses a laser or microkeratome to reshape your eye’s cornea in order to improve your visual acuity. Your doctor with anesthetize your eyes with topical eye drops. Then, he will create a corneal lap on the outer layer of your eye. He will cut it and flip it open like the cover of a book. Then, an excimer laser is used to reshape your cornea. Afterwards, the corneal flap that was made is replaced like closing the cover of a book. It is a quick, almost painless procedure and there is little or no discomfort after the procedure. Recovery is also very rapid and usually happens within 24 hours.
There are many common vision problems you could have. Refractive errors are highly common, and thankfully, they are easily treatable. For your vision problems, come into our office for a comprehensive eye exam and see how we can help you! We can correct your refractive vision problems with glasses, contact lenses or LASIK eye surgery. Don’t wait to have perfect vision. Have it today by calling Peeper’s Optical at (303) 333-2800!