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Friday, October 19, 2012 3:14 PM
There are a number of tell-tale signs that signal an eye defect.
If you have to stretch your arms out when reading the paper to see it clearly, it’s likely you have presbyopia, which occurs as part of the ageing process.
Inside the eye is a flexible, crystalline lens, which changes shape to focus the image clearly on the retina. Gradually, as we age, this lens becomes less flexible, so it can no longer focus clearly at all distances. It also becomes thicker, altering focal length. Everyone becomes presbyopic at some stage in their life – most commonly in the early to mid-forties.
Myopia is most commonly known as short sightedness. It occurs when the eyeball is too long or the power of the eye is too strong. This causes the image to focus in front of the retina. Short sighted people can usually see objects near to them quite clearly, but things farther away appear more blurred.
Hypermetropia is most commonly known as long sightedness. It occurs when the power of the eye is too weak or the eyeball is too short. This makes the image come into focus behind the retina.
Astigmatism often occurs along with other vision conditions such as long or short sightedness. If the front surface of the eyeball – known as the cornea – is irregularly curved like a rugby ball, rather than a football, it cannot focus the light rays to a point. Some will focus in front of, or behind the retina causing blurred vision at all distances.
All of the above conditions are easily correctable with a regular sight test. An optometrist will determine exactly what correction the eye needs in order to see properly again. Specsavers recommends coming in for an eye exam every two years for a healthy person and more frequently for those with pre-disposing factors such as diabetes, cataracts or for possible glaucoma suspects.
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