Your Glasses

 In Medical
your-glassesDr Valmiki Karmel md mb chb (Bristol) frcs ophth Consultant eye specialist/surgeon (u.k) Subspecialist vitreo-retinal surgeon Member of American society of retinal specialists

It’s a common myth that your glasses need to be changed regularly. In Trinidad it is recommended that they are checked every two years which is a sensible guideline to follow. Most prescriptions are stable over long periods of time and more often than not your old worn pair of glasses is find and do their job. They may just not look great anymore. The easiest way to know when they need to be changed is when your sight is blurred out of both eyes, or either eye, or, that you get headaches after wearing them for a while. Your eyes will not be harmed by a wrong, or old prescription, they will simply not feel right. At your appointment most common eye diseases can also be assessed and a referral made to a medical doctor.

The strength of our glasses is dependent on the length of eye, the curvature of it and the distance between the various bits that make up the eye. Those that need spectacles are divided into two groups: short sighted and long sighted. Short sighted people can read up close but cannot see far without glasses and long sighted folks need glasses to see things close up. As you get older your prescription can suddenly change often without there being any underlying cause to worry about. The most common example is when we cross the forty year barrier and can no longer read small print. Simple short term solutions we employ to get around that problem are to squint, or, to stretch our arms out at a length. It lasts only for a while before we really need to purchase a pair of reading glasses. The cause has been found to be a loss of flexibility of our natural lens which sits behind our pupil and this unfortunately becomes worse as we get older.

One common sign that you may be developing a cataract is your glasses no longer work. In fact we may have to change them quite frequently until a cataract is found to be the underlying cause. The reason is that some form of cataracts permanently alter the density of our natural lens and as a result the strength of our glasses. Once the cataracts are removed (they usually come in pairs) your prescription can incorporated into your implant. Some implants have the means to assist you in reading and you will no longer be dependent on glasses. These implants are a lot more expensive and sometimes do not work. Corrective laser surgery is
usually reserved for the younger age group and you should consult your ophthalmologist to see if you are a candidate for the procedure. The decision should not be taken lightly because there are inherent risks. The general rule of thumb is that the thicker your glasses the more tissue needs to be cut to etch the required prescription on your eye and this will weaken the structural integrity of the cornea.

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