General FAQ's

How the Eye Works?
Our ability to "see" starts when light reflects off and object at which we are looking and enters the eye. As it enters the eye, the light is unfocused. The first step in seeing is to focus or bend the light rays on to retina which is a nerve layer that lines back of eye. Light entering the eye is first bent, or refracted, by cornea the clear watch glass on front surface of eye ball. After light passes through cornea, it is bent again- to a more finely adjusted focus-by a lens inside the eye. This process of bending light to produce a focused image on the retina is called regfraction. Light focused on retina stimulates special cells which send millions of electrochemical impulses along the optic nerve to the brain. The brain interprets the impulses, enabling us to see the object. The bending of light and interpretation of image are thus two important components of vision. The ability to see will be affected by any weak link in the chain from cornea to brain.

What are refractive errors?
Ideally, the light is "refracted", in such a manner that the rays are focused into a precise image, on the retina. The failure of light to focus on retina leads to blurred vision, a condition known as refractive errors. There are different types of refractive errors. In near-sightedness(myopia), the rays of light form an image in front of the retina. In far-sightedness(hypermetropia), the rays focus behind the retina. In astigmatism, the cuvature of the cornea is irregular-causing light rays to focus at more than one so that a simgle clear image cannot be formed on the retina, resulting in blurred vision. And as we age, we find reading or doing close-up activities more difficult. This condition is called presbyopia. It results from the crystalline lens becoming less flexible, and decrease its ability to bend light. Since changing the refraction of the eye is relatively easy through the use of additional lenses the unclear vision due to refractive errors can be readily corrected.

What causes myopia?
A disproportionate increase in size of eye ball as compared to its power leads to myopia. Myopia most often occurs because the eye ball is too long. Some times myopia can occur if the cornea is too curved. There is some evidence that myopia may also be cause by excessive close work. Rarely a child may be born with high myopia.

How is myopia diagnosed?
Myopia is often suspected when a teacher notices a child squinting to see a blackboard or a child perform poorly during a routine eye screening. Headache or sitting too close to TV or reading from close distance may also point to poor vision and myopia. A comprehensive eye examination will detect myopia. Periodic examinations should follow, after myopia has been discovered, to determine whether the condition is changing once diagnosed, vision of child needs to be assessed every four to six months till the age of twenty.

How is myopia treated? Corrective concave lenses are prescribed to help focus light more precisely on the retina, where a clear image will formed. Concave lenses are thin in the centre. The lenses may be worn as spectacles or as tiny dises worn on the cornea as contact lens. If the degree of impairment is slight, corrective lenses may be needed only for activities that require distance visionm such as driving, watching TV or sports requiring fine vision.

How will near-sightedness affect my lifestyle?
If glasses or contact lenses are prescribed, it may take you a few days to adjust to them. After that, near-sightedness will probably not significantly affect your lifestyle. However, more severely near-sighted individuals may find that the condition limits their choice of occupation.

What causes far sightedness?
Hypermetropia most commonly occurs because the eyeball is too short; that is, shorter from front to back that is normal. In some cases, hypermetropia may be caused by the cornea having too little curvature. Exactly why eyeball shape varies is not known, but the tendency for far-sightedness is inherited.

Who is affected by far-sightedness?
It is more common in children, in some cases the onset may be in late thirties or early forties.

How is it diagnosed?
A simple refraction after putting some drops establishes diagnosis. Hypermetropia can be missed in school eye-screening ests, which typically test only the ability to see objects at a distance. It is imperative to assess the eyes after putting some eye drops. These drops temporarily paralyse the internal muscles of eye so that the childs efforts for focusing dont affect the chekin of number. Besides blurred vision, headache or squint also suggest hypermetropia.

How will hypermetropia affect your lifestyle?
If glasses or contact lenses are prescribed, it may take a few days to adjust to them. After that, far-sightedness probably will not significantly affect your lifestyle. Failure to diagnose hypermetropia in early child hood and to treat it properly will lead to squint or lazy eye. Lazy eye is otherwise a normal eye with poor vision. If diagnosed by age of nine years a lazy can improved vision. else vision remains poor for the rest of life.

How is it treated? Convex lenses eye glasses or contact lenses - are usually prescribed. They bend light more sharply and bring them to focus on the retina. These lenses are thicker in center. Your corrective lenses will contribute to clear sight and general comfort. A comprehensive eye examination at the recommended intervals will ensure that minor changes in vision are diagnosed and treated so that your vision will remain as clear and comfortable as possible.

What is astigmatism?
Astigmatism results when the surface of the cornea is distorted instead of being spherical. If you have astigmatism, your cornea is shaped like the back of a spoon, curved more on one side than the other. It is unable to focus light rays entering the eye into the fine point needed for clear vision. At any time only a small proportion of the rays are focused and the remainder are not, so that the image formed is always blurred. Usually, astigmatism causes blurred vision at all distances.

Who develops astigmatism?
Astigmatism is very common. Some experts believe that almost everyone has some degree of astigmatism, often from birth, which may remain the same throughout life. Astigmatism often occurs with myopia and hypermetropia.

How is it diagnosed?
It is diagnosed by simple test of refraction. If number are being checked for first time the doctor may put some eye drops.

How is it treated? Your ophthalmologist will recommend corrective eye glasses to help you to see clearly. The corrective lenses needed when astigmatism is present are called Toric lenses and have an additional power element called a cylinder. They have greater light bending power in one axis than in others. Your ophthalmologist will perform precise tests during your eye examination to determine the ideal lens prescription. In worse cases, glasses fail to improve vision and contact lenses may be required. Some times the cornea loses the shape and a serious condition of keratoconus results.

What causes presbyopia?
As we age, body tissues normally lose their elasticity. As skin ages, it becomes less elastic and we develop wrinkles. Similarly, as the elasticity of the lens in our eye decreases, its ability to change its shape to focus for near decreases. The loss is gradual. Long before we become aware that seeing close up is becoming more difficult, the lens in our eyes has begun losing its ability to flatten and thicken. Only when the loss of elasticity impairs our vision to a noticeable degree do we recognize the change.

How does the loss of elasticity affect sight?
The crystalline lens plays a key role in focusing light on the retina. When we are young, the lens is flexible. With the help of tiny ciliary muscles, it changes shape, or accommodates. It thickens to focus for near. As we age, the lens becomes stiffer. Changing shape becomes more difficult. Not only does focusing on near objects become more difficult, the eye also is unable to adjust as quickly to rapid changes in focus on near and distant objects as it can in young age. Presbyopia results from changes in elasticity of lens and not from weakness of muscles.

When does it occur?
The age at which presbyopiais first noticed varies, but it usually begins to interfere with near vision in the early forties. Presbyopia affects everyone and there is no known prevention for it.

How is the problem diagnosed?
An accurate, thorough description of symptoms and a comprehensive eye examination, including a testing of the quality of your near vision, are necessary to diagnose presbyopia.

How is presbyopia treated?
Usually , the treatment for presbyopia is prescription of eye glasses to help the eye accommodate for close-up work. Prescription lenses (reading glasses) help regract light rays more effectively to compensate for the loss of near vision. If you do not have other vision problems, such as near-sightedness or astigmatism, you may only need glasses for reading or other tasks done at a close range. If you have other refractive errors, such as near-sightedness, bifocal or progressive lenses are often prescribed. In progressive lenses the power of the lens changes gradually towards the bottom to allow reading. There is no visible line in the glass.

What lens option will work best for me? Bifocal have a correction for reading on the bottom half of the lens and another for seeing distance on the top. Trifocals are lenses with three different lens corrections in one set of eye glasses. If you dont need correction for seeing distance, you can buy over-the-counter reading glasses to correct presbyopia. No exercise or medication can reverse prebyopia. You will probably need to change your prescription from time to time between the ages of forty and sixty, because your lens will continue to loose flexibility. The distant objects will appear blurred through your reading glasses. Your ophthalmologist may ask a number of questions to help determine the best avenue of treatment. You may be asked to describe your usual lifestyle or daily activities and from this he will be able to recommend a solution most suited to your needs. For instance, if you are a librarian, your needs will be significantly different from those of a truck driver. The prescription of glasses for near work varies with the working distance. While getting your vision checked for near work, please hold the booklet/chart at a distance at which you finally want to use glasses.

How frequently will I require lens changes?
Presbyopia is a gradual change, happening over a number of years so your prescription will need to be updated periodically. Changes are best made at your regular eye examination rather than delaying it till the difficulty in near work increases. The number of near vision will increase upto + 2.50 D Sph over the number of distance.

I have to wear glasses because my eyes are weak?
No. your eyes are not weak. Your eyes are as healthy as those of any body else. The only difference with your eyes is the change in relationship of size of eye ball to its optical power. During the growth of the ye the normal relationship between increase in size and increase in power has been disturbed as a result the eye ball has become little bigger or smaller than its diopter power (The effective focusing power). If the eye becomes bigger you will become myope and if the eye remains smaller you become hypermetrope.

What exercises can I do to improve my vision?
Since the need for glasses arises from a change in the size of the eye ball, no kind of exercises are going to help. Exercises are helpful in muscle imbalance where you have eye strain because of weakness of muscles. Exercises cannot help remove glasses.

have been drinking lots of carrot juice but still my number has increased?
The environmental factors including diet have no effect on the onset of refractive errors or the progression of the number. There is no need for any special diet to reduce your number.

At what age shall one get vision checked?
Every normal kid shall have vision checked at age of five years. It needs to be checked again at the age of ten and fifteen years.

How long my number will go on increasing?
In most of the cases the number goes on increasing as long the body is growing. One can roughly presume that by the age of eighteen, when the body attains its full growth, the progression or increase in number will halt. However, there is small percentage of cases of progressive myopia where there is a possibility of number increasing till any age. The increase in number to any extent can not lead to blindness.

I have to use glasses regularly?
The glasses are prescribed for two basic reasons, one to relieve the eye strain, if a person has eye strain and second to make vision clear if a person wants to see clearly. In case you are not falling in any of these categories you may not use glasses.

cylindrical lenses means I will go blind?
No. a cylindrical lens is a type of lens only, it does not indicate that your vision is too bad. It does not indicate that it will go on increasing or you will go blind. It is just a type of lens.

I got spect because I have been watching too much TV?
No. you do not get glasses by watching too much of television. Yes, reading for too long from too close a distance may sometimes lead to myopia.

Are glasses used to treat squint?
Yes, in children, with hypermetropia, the eye squints inwards. Appropriate glasses help relieve the squint. Use of glasses is mandatory in such a situations.

I wear glasses and I took all precautions for my children but they still have glasses? There are no such precatutions to prevent development of myopia. Myopia is inherited. If one parents have glasses twenty five percent of children are likely to have glasses and if both parents are myopic, all the kids are likely to be myopic.

Doctor, can you give some eye drops to remove glasses?
There are no eye drops available as such that can help to remove glasses or reduce number.

Can I get rid of these glasses with laser treatment?
You can get laser treatment done for substantial improvement in vision. However, laser treatment does not guarantee 100% improvement in vision after the treatment.

How far laser treatment is safe?
Laser treatment is safe in the short term follow-up. The long term behaviour of the eyes after they have been cut with laser and the scar formation are still not known.

Why are some drops used for checking glasses at first prescription of glasses?
The first prescription of glasses in children should be done after using special eye drops. This done to paralyse the otherwise active focusing muscle of the eye so as to assess the number accurately.

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