Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Over 40 Eyes...Why Can't I Read?

We know what you're thinking...who shrunk my arms? It's happening a lot around the office at Skyvision Centers, too. We're all getting a little older  around here and it seems like there are a bunch of reading glasses lying around everywhere now. As a matter of fact, the only person in the office who can't seem to find Dr. White's readers is DR. WHITE!

Why do we start to have trouble reading when we get older? To answer that we have to go all the way back to age 2 or so. Almost all of us is born a little farsighted or hyperopic. We focus our eyes to overcome this little bit of farsightedness using the same muscles that we use to focus on objects up close. This muscular process is called ACCOMMODATION. When we look at things up close three things happen: our eyes come closer together, our pupils get smaller, and the lens inside our eyes gets fatter. We have massive powers of accommodation at age two and then we gradually lose those powers as wel get older.

The medical term for "Over 40 Eyes" is PRESBYOPIA. When we lose enough of our power of accommodation that we can no longer see things up close we become presbyopic. Of course your kids will just say you got old! Here's a LINK to the Eyemaginations video on presbyopia.

So what can we do? Well, there are a bunch of options, actually. If your eyes are health you can just buy reading glasses at the pharmacy. You might have a different prescription in each of your eyes, and if so your Skyvision Centers eye doctor can prescribe a pair of reading glasses that are specific to you. Many of us need to wear glasses to see things far away--a pair of bifocals takes care of the up-close problem. Bifocal contact lenses are available, and you can even correct your vision with something called MONOVISION, with one eye corrected for near and one eye corrected for far vision.

Whew! That's a lot of options! Don't worry...we'll have lots of answers for you in future posts, and of course, we bet we'll see an "At the Dr. Whiteboard" video or two on this subject, too!

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