Your Eye Correction Explained

Your eye correction explained

Types of Refractive Error

If an eye requires spectacles or contact lenses to focus properly, it is said to have a “refractive error.”

The main types of refractive error that affect the eye are myopia, hypermetropia and presbyopia. Each of these refractive errors can be corrected with spectacles or contact lenses, and one or more can affect each eye.

Myopia

Common name – short sight.

Myopic people cannot see clearly in the distance without spectacles or contact lenses because of a focusing issue.

Usually, light comes in through the lens and focuses on the retina at the back of the eye. In myopia, the light is focused in front of the retina, which causes things to look blurred in the distance.

About three in ten people in the UK are short-sighted and about 5% of those have severe myopia.

People typically become short-sighted in their teenage years or twenties.

Hypermetropia

Common name – long sight

Hypermetropia is a widespread problem affecting your vision at all distances, but especially close-up, caused by a focusing issue.

Usually, light comes in through the lens and focuses on the retina at the back of the eye. In hypermetropia, the light is focused behind the retina, which causes objects to look blurred.

Many very young children have mild hypermetropia that gets better by itself as they grow older.

The percentage of people with hypermetropia increases with age.

Presbyopia

Greek: old-sight

Presbyopia is a natural part of the ageing process and cannot be prevented or cured.

The age at which presbyopia starts varies from person to person. Although presbyopia may seem to develop suddenly, the actual decline takes place over the course of many years.

Common signs/symptoms of presbyopia include, blurred vision at normal reading distance, and eye fatigue along with headaches when attempting to undertake close work.

The natural lens, which is the flexible element of focus in the eye, enables most young people to focus and see clearly in the distance and up close.

Sadly, the flexibility of the natural lens diminishes with age, and by the mid-forties, even people who have never previously needed spectacles can become dependent on reading specs.

These changes in the lens continue to progress until the late 40’s, early 50’s, to a point at which objects within arm’s reach cannot be viewed clearly without reading spectacles.

This age-related loss of reading vision is called ‘presbyopia.

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