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Healthy Community Healthy You – Eyesight – Near or Far

By   /  May 27, 2023  /  No Comments

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Dr. Megan Johnson McCullough -Our eyes are what make life visible for us to see all that is put in front of us. The two eyes on our face place a pretty big role and many of us have come to experience how eyesight can be affected with age, color, brightness, darkness, or what is close and/or far away from us. Many people need prescription lenses to enhance/improve their eyesight, but most of us don’t exactly know how these lenses can address the vision problem.

Our eyes convey images to us by focusing the light on our retinas. First, light shines into the eye and hits the cornea then passes through the lens which sits on the part of the eye called the iris. The cornea is the dome that covers the eyeball. After passing through the lens, the light shines through to the pupil. Finally, the light hits the back of the eye called the retina. The retina is covered by many cells that are light sensitive. These cells send information to the brain via the optic nerve. Now the brain has to interpret the light into the image being displayed. This would be the process for persons with normal eyesight.

However, there are two refractive errors that can occur along this light path to seeing images. These conditions occur when the light doesn’t land correctly on the retina. This has to do with the curvature of the retina.  Another reason could be the cornea having a little different shape depending on whether a person is considered nearsighted or farsighted. Nearsightedness is when objects that are close up are much clearer compared to those that are farther away. Farsightedness is when objects that are farther away appear more clearly than those that are closer to the eyes. With either condition, one might experience headaches from straining their eyes and/or squinting them.

Nearsightedness

The term for this condition is myopia. Nearsightedness is more common, with about 40% of Americans being nearsighted. Light focuses in front of the retina rather than on it. The shape of the eyeball might be more elongated versus spherical, or the cornea might have a steeper curve to it. The brain still receives the information to create an image, but the result might not be as clear, particularly when the objects are farther away. Symptoms include having to squint to see objects farther away which could cause headaches and not being able to see well at night.

Farsightedness

This is called hyperopia and with this condition, the light shines behind the retina rather than on it because of the eyeball’s shape. About 5-10% of the population is farsighted. Usually, the eyes are shorter in length, not as spherical, or the curvature of the cornea is flatter. Because the light focuses behind the retina, objects that are close aren’t seen as clearly. Eye strain, eye fatigue, headache, poor depth perception, and difficulty reading can all be related symptoms. 

Both conditions are treatable with prescription lenses either with glasses or contacts. A person who is nearsighted with see negative numbers with a minus sign (-) for their prescription. A person who is farsighted will have positive numbers on their prescription (+). This means that the further away your numbers are from zero, the stronger your prescription will be.

Life has so much to see, and we don’t want those images the brain produces to be blurry. We might deny having a problem, but part of selfcare is owning your health and being proactive about it. The way I “see” it, if we strain and squint too much, well then, a whole other set of problems may come our way with wrinkles on the forehead and around the eyes. “See” that you get help so you can “see” everything clearly, beautifully, and in their true form.

www.everybodysfitoceanside.com

(760)201-6784 @dr.megan_everybodysfit

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