More than six in 10 people in the U.S. wear glasses or contact lenses, and the percentage is even higher for elderly people. That means that even if you don’t use them yet, there’s a good chance you will need to at some point. There are a lot of different vision problems that may eventually require glasses, so we thought we would round up some of the most common ones. This isn’t an exhaustive list, but we hope it proves useful to many of our friends and customers struggling with vision trouble.
- Nearsightedness: One of the most common vision problems, nearsightedness likely affects many of the people in your life. Nearsightedness, or myopia, occurs when the eyeball is too long or the cornea is too curved. This causes nearby objects to come into sharp focus, while distant objects are disproportionately blurry and difficult to make out. The most common fix for nearsightedness is a good glasses prescription, though laser eye surgery is gaining popularity as well.
- Farsightedness: The opposite of nearsightedness, farsightedness causes people to see faraway objects clearly while closer objects appear blurry. This happens when light hits the back of the retina instead of the center. People with farsightedness may not experience problems when they are younger, but difficulty will present itself as they grow older. As with nearsightedness, glasses and laser surgery are the most common solutions for farsightedness.
- Astigmatism: Astigmatism occurs when the eye has trouble evenly distributing light to the retina. It causes objects to look stretched out and blurry. Because astigmatism often affects only one eye, people with this problem sometimes opt to wear only one contact lens.
- Amblyopia: Colloquially known as a “lazy eye,” amblyopia is a condition in which one or both eyes have not been properly developed for central vision, which causes the eye to drift off to one side of the socket. This problem usually presents itself early in life, and can be fixed simply by wearing glasses if caught early. Amblyopia does not cause or result from any issues with peripheral vision.
- Presbyopia: If you’ve ever wondered why it seems like so many people over the age of 60 wear glasses, presbyopia is the answer. As the eyes age, it becomes more difficult for them to focus on objects, even when they are up close and near the eye. Again, glasses and contacts are the most common remedies for this condition.
- Strabismus: If someone is “cross-eyed,” that means they have strabismus. This problem is caused by subpar control of eye muscles, and usually first appears in people between 21 months and six years of age. If your or a loved one’s child presents symptoms of strabismus, it is important to bring them to an eye doctor as soon as possible, as this will increase the efficacy of corrective surgery or glasses.
If any of these conditions sound familiar to you, be sure to come visit us at Bayview Optometrics, your local source for eyewear in Mashpee, MA and the greater Cape Cod area.