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Say what... Magazine : 1610
PAG E 34 Say what... Digital Magazine • Issue 34 • October 2016 • • http://saywhat.nz Being: weLL-Sighted... As we age, our eyes become less efficient and degrade. Our eyes become more fragile and don't have as much 'give' in them any more. This is a condition known as Presbyopia. It's not a disease, rather a natural, gradual process that begins in our late teens and really starts to become noticeable in our mid-40s. There is no proven way to prevent this condition, but it does mean some changes to your lifestyle are required. So, what exactly is Presbyopia? Normal healthy, young eyes have the ability to change the shape of the lens to bend light so that images focus on the retina at the back of each eye. We still don't fully understand the mechanisms of Presbyopia, but the current theory is that as we age, the lens thickens and loses it's flexibility, reducing it's ability to change shape and bend light as much. This means that the light coming from objects close to us doesn't focus on the retina, instead the image focuses behind our eyes - at the point the light meets our retinas, the image is still fuzzy. Early signs of Presbyopia... • Difficulty seeing fine details, small objects or small writing. • Headaches, tried or sore eyes when reading or working at computer screens. • The need to hold reading material further away. • The need to increase lighting for close or detailed work. Treatment of Presbyopia... Despite claims with some alternative medical practices, there are no proven ways to prevent or cure Presbyopia with today's medical or natural sciences. To help you adapt and deal with the effects of Presbyopia, visiting a good optometrist for an eye test and a prescription for some glasses is the best course of action. Having an eye test is vital, as the type of glasses you need will depend on your age, occupation, lifestyle and certain underlying medical conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure. You may have options including bifocals, trifocals, progressives, multifocals and/or contact lenses. You may also be advised to get multiple sets of glasses if you have vision issues such as Astigmatism, where your eyes are no longer the proper shape and your vision issues aren't just about focal depth and you need to correct multiple visual issues at the same time to get clear vision. It should also be noted that Presbyopia is different to near-sightedness and far-sightedness, and will complicate these conditions as well. Helpful hints when using glasses... • When reading or sewing, remember to look down rather than tilt your head down, so that your line of sight passes through the correct section of the lens. • On stairs, at the kerb, and when getting into or out of vehicles, tilt your head so your eyes are looking through the centre of the glasses. If you just glance down, you'll lose visual sharpness. • When reading newspapers, fold it in half and learn to use your head to scan up and down columns. • Keep the frame of your glasses properly adjusted and get them checked regularly to avoid lenses getting loose and falling out. Most good optometrists will do quick checks, cleaning and adjustments free of charge. • If you do sports or outdoor recreational activities, many designs of glasses will prove unsuitable. Be sure to talk to your optometrist about your lifestyle so they can get the best frames for you.