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January is National Eye Care Month

Start the New Year off right with a comprehensive eye exam. You should have an eye exam once a year to detect any eye disease in its early development. Treating eye health problems early will minimize further damage to your eyes and vision.

One of the most common vision problems is Myopia. More than 70 million people in North America are myopic (nearsighted). The term “nearsighted” means that you can see objects that are closer to you more clearly than distant objects. The more myopic you are the more blurred distant objects appear. Myopia (Nearsightedness) occurs when your eye is too long in relation to the curvature of your cornea. This causes light rays entering the eye to focus in front of the retina, producing a blurred image.

Hyperopia (farsightedness) occurs when your eye is too short in relation to the curvature of your cornea. With hyperopia vision problems, distant objects are seen more clearly than near objects.
In hyperopia, light rays are focused behind the retina, producing a blurred image. “Farsighted” is not an accurate term. Patients with hyperopia can use their focusing muscles to pull the image forward onto the retina, allowing them to see clearly. They can only maintain clear vision by constantly utilizing the focusing muscles which causes eye strain and headaches. Mildly hyperopic (farsighted) patients tend to see very well until the lens inside the eye loses its flexibility around 40 years of age. Many people cannot overcome the effects of severe hyperopia and need glasses for both distance vision and for reading.

Astigmatism occurs when your cornea is shaped like an egg. With astigmatism vision problems, more than one focal point within the eye causes vision to become distorted. Thus, you experience a tilting of images due to the unequal bending of light rays entering your eyes.

Presbyopia is a normal part of aging that becomes more apparent as people approach their 40s and 50s. As the human body ages, the lens inside the eye grows like rings on a tree. It loses its elasticity, and therefore its ability to easily change focus, making it more difficult to read smaller print.
For more information on eye health visit www.griffineyecenter.com