Between myopia or short-sightedness and hypermetropia or farsightedness, the latter is less common. However, this does not make it any less important. Farsightedness or long sightedness refers to a refractive error in the eye lens that creates problems focusing on objects nearby. This is because the light entering the eye does not converge on the retina but does so behind the retina.
Long-sightedness can be caused by a number of factors. Some of these are:
Structural problems with the eye
Some people are born with structural problems. This is one of the leading causes of long-sightedness. These structural conditions include:
1. A cornea that is not steep enough
2. A short eyeball
3. A flattened lens
4. A thicker than normal lens
Long-sightedness rarely affects children. This is a condition that becomes noticeable after the age of 40 in most cases. With age, the lenses in the eyes become stiffer and do not curve normally. This is known as presbyopia.
As with myopia, hypermetropia is also triggered by genetic faults. If someone in your family suffers from this then chances are that you will too. However, the specific genes that transfer this condition from one generation to the next have not been discovered as yet.
Long-sightedness is also triggered by underlying conditions such as diabetes, underdevelopment of a baby's eye during pregnancy, orbital tumours and problems with the blood vessels in the retina.
Not being able to read a book clearly is one of the most common symptoms of long-sightedness. Some of its other symptoms are:
1. Needing to squint to focus on objects
3. Pain or burning in the eyes
4. Fatigue caused by reading, writing or working on a computer
5. Red and watery eyes
Long-sightedness can be correctly diagnosed only with a thorough eye examination. Hence it is essential to schedule one regularly. This becomes more important as a person gets older. If left untreated, it can lead to a double vision which in turn can trigger two possible eye problems.
This is a condition where the eyes get misaligned and hence do not work in tandem. People suffering from this condition find their eyes focusing on two independent objects instead of seeing the same thing.
Double vision can make one eye more dominant than the other. This makes the muscles of one eye degenerate at a higher rate than the other making it lazy. This is known as amblyopia.
Your eyes are responsible for presenting the world to you, right from the time you wake up until the time you go to bed. In fact, your eyes deliver 80% of the information you take in each day. Therefore, it is important that you keep them safe and healthy.
However, most vision problems develop from early childhood, usually between the age of 2.5 years and 4 years. The most common ones are-
• A wandering eye/crossed eye - Misalignment of the eyes
• Farsightedness - Nearby objects appear blurry
• Nearsightedness/Myopia - Faraway objects appear blurry
• Astigmatism - An imperfection in the curvature of the eye
Quite a few vision problems emerge as you age. These common eye conditions may significantly affect your eyes and eyesight once you near the age of 60 -
• Age-related Macular Degeneration or AMD - Loss of vision
• Glaucoma - The connecting nerve from eye to the brain is damaged (can lead to blindness)
• Diabetic retinopathy - A diabetic complication affecting the eyes
In the year 2002, over 161 million people across the world were reported visually impaired. 124 million people out of these 161 million had poor vision, while 37 million people were blind. Considering these shocking figures, it has become crucial to spread awareness and inform the readers about the importance of vision screenings regularly.
Since February is the Low Vision Awareness Month, we are here to talk about low or poor vision- what it means, how to detect and correct the problem early in life.
What is Low or Poor Vision?
‘Low vision’ or poor vision refers to a significant visual impairment that cannot be rectified with medicine, standard glasses, eye surgery, or contact lenses. People with visual acuity ranging between 20/200 and 70/200 or 6/18 and 6/60 in the better eye, are said to have poor vision.
A number of factors can cause low vision, such as an eye injury, an infection or a disease. Sometimes, the cause can also be hereditary.
The following can be a warning sign that something might be seriously wrong with your vision-
Why early detection is important?
If you encounter the above signs or observe the same in your loved ones, then immediately consult an eye specialist. Detecting the problem early can help restore some of your vision, if not cure the problem.
Just as overall health check-up is required, annual eye check-ups are also important for people, especially in the old age. Comprehensive dilated eye exams and screening tests are recommended. You should ideally have yourself checked once every year. People with macular degeneration, glaucoma, or a family history of eye disorders may require frequent visits and regular monitoring.
Discuss your/your child’s overall condition with an eye specialist and ensure that you follow up for eye check-ups to the clinic every 6 months.
When was the last time you visited an ophthalmologist? Chances are that unless you faced a problem in your eyes recently, it must have been months or even years. Most people only visit an eye specialist’s clinic when they experience some eye problem.
This is not a good practice since the best way to avoid severe eye complications is to detect them in their early stages. Since some eye conditions are asymptomatic in their early stages, these conditions cannot be detected without a comprehensive eye exam. Either you must be aware of warning signs or visit an ophthalmologist once a year to avoid eye problems getting severe.
Warning signs that need immediate attention:
Prevention is always better than cure and eyes are one part of your body that you most likely ignore unless the problems start looming large. When the warning signs are felt, it is better to seek medical attention to rule out any sort of complication.