According to statistics compiled by the National Eye Institute, as many as 3 in every 4 Americans require some form of corrective lenses for clear vision and of these the vast majority use eye glasses. However, despite the relative pervasiveness of corrective eyewear, many people have questions about glasses and contact lenses. Here are answers to some of the most common questions we hear at Georgia Eye Physicians and Surgeons.
Regular visits to the eye doctor do more than simply determine your prescription and fit you for glasses. A comprehensive eye exam is the only way to catch serious eye diseases in their early stages, before they cause noticeable symptoms and when they’re more easily treated. One-size-fits-all reading glasses do not work well for people who have irregular prescriptions or a different prescription in each eye, and can commonly cause headaches in those patients.
Can wearing eyeglasses that are too strong or have the wrong prescription damage my eyes?
Eyeglasses bend light rays as they enter the eye, compensating for the refractive errors that cause nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), and astigmatism. However, they do not actually change any part of the eye itself and so cannot cause eye damage. Glasses that are too strong or too weak will fail to focus the light properly on the retina, leaving vision blurry and potentially causing temporary headaches as the muscles that focus the eye struggle to adjust.
Do my glasses protect my eyes from the sun?
That depends on the type of lenses that you have. Simple glass does block the more damaging UVB wavelengths of ultraviolet light, and so traditional glass lenses can protect your eyes from sun damage. Unfortunately glass does not block the less intense but more pervasive UVA rays, which some experts think may have long-term, damaging effects on your eyes and skin. Polycarbonate lenses, however, are all equipped with UV protection built in to the lens. Plastic lenses, which are popular due to their lighter weight and lower cost, do not block UV light but can be given a special UV coating to provide additional protection.
What are some of the warning signs that my child might need glasses?
Children that are suffering from vision deficits often sit too close to the TV or hold books too close to their face. They may frequently lose their place while reading or need to use a finger to follow along. Attempts to clear blurriness may cause them to squint, close one eye, or tilt the head in order to see better and the eye fatigue that results may lead to frequent eye rubbing and sensitivity to light. If your child exhibits any of these signs, schedule an appointment for a comprehensive eye exam at Georgia Eye Physicians and Surgeons and if you would like to know more any of the various vision treatment options we offer, Dr. William Segal or Dr. Marc Lay will be more than happy to answer your questions. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for more tips for healthy eyes.