Can you not see items close to you as well as you used to?

After the age of 40 many people experience problems with their vision. A condition called presbyopia causes the lens in our eye to lose its elasticity along with the reduction in strength and endurance of the muscles that mobilise the lens.

Is this familiar?

  • You are unable to read small print as well as you used to
  • You feel like your arms are not long enough because you want to place the text as far from your eyes as possible.
  • You are experiencing difficulties with reading in dim light, you need a brighter light to read than before.
  • Your eyes tire quicker and you experience redness of your eyes.
  • You get headaches

With symptoms like these you should turn to an optometrist or ophthalmologist who will check your vision and will prescribe you spectacles if found necessary.

Do you use computers often?

Individuals who use computers for prolonged periods daily experience a wide variety of symptoms: tired eyes, redness of eyes, dryness, tingling, lachrymation, headaches, trouble with focusing on text after prolonged reading or blurred vision when looking into the distance after looking at something up close.

These symptoms indicate that your eyes are overworked and need rest.

Before turning to an eye care physician you should try the following:

  • Analyse you work space (ergonomics, lighting, humidity etc.)
  • When working with computers take frequent breaks. Look out the window into the distance to towards the far corner of the room.
  • Blink more often. If you do not blink enough Your eyes tend to dry and tire out. You may experience headaches, tingling of your eyes or blurred vision. With symptoms like these you may want to use eye drops (artificial tears). More detailed advice can be given by an ophthalmologist or pharmacist.
  • To avoid Your eyes from getting tired perform appropriate exercises found here.

If your main concern is focusing you sight (into the distance or something close to you) the cause may be overworked visual muscles or ametropia which is an impaired vision. In this case eye exercises and spectacles with a slight positive lens. The cause of the problems has to be determined by an optometrist or ophthalmologist.

If you are experiencing the above mentioned symptoms and you are short sighted you could try using spectacles with a smaller negative when working with a computer or glasses with a progressive lens (e.g. Hoya Nulux Active, Essilor Anti-Fatigue) when looking straight your long distance vision will not be affected.

If you have been prescribed reading glasses you may feel like they are too powerful to view a computer screen. This is because reading glasses are supposed to support your vision 33 cm – 40 cm but the computer screen is often further than that. In this case you may want to consider spectacles designed for computer use (e.g Hoya Addpower, Essilor InterView ). These glasses have a lower part that supports reading, however the top part is less invasive so viewing the screen is more comfortable.

A reminder for people who use spectacles

  • The shape and color of the frames is important. You will be wearing these throughout the day and you have to feel comfortable with them.
  • Spectacles should be stored in a special container.
  • Do not wear your glasses o your forehead when you are not using them, nor should you keep them in your bag. Your spectacles will become dirty or deform.
  • Always clean your spectacles with a soft piece of cloth or a paper towel. With plastic lenses use cleaning fluid to avoid scrapes.
  • Purchase multiple pairs of spectacles if possible – a pair for everyday use and a more expensive pair to use at work or on special occasions.
  • If you feel the prescription of your spectacles is inappropriate you should visit your ophthalmologist or optometrist to correct the issue.
  • Do not borrow other people’s spectacles, you may do more harm than good.

Reminder for people with contact lenses

  • Do not wear your contact lenses for more than 2-3 hours the first day. Increase the time you wear your lenses by an hour a day, it takes 2 weeks on average to get fully used to them.
  • Depending on the type of lens you may wear them 8-12 hours a day. Do not exceed the recommended time limit.
  • Always wash your hands before removing or inserting your contact lenses
  • Make sure that the lens you are inserting is facing the right way.
  • Do not mix up the right and left contact lens.
  • Before inserting and after removing, clean your contact lenses with the recommended solution. Place the contact lens into your palm add a few drops of cleaning solution and rub both sides or squirt fluid onto both sides of the contact lens.
  • The recommended contact lens solution must be changed in the containers daily. If you do not use your contacts for a period you must change the solution weekly.
  • All aerosols (hair spray, deodorant etc.) are damaging to the contact lenses.
  • If your eyes get tingly you should remove your contact lenses and check that they are facing the right way and that they are intact.
  • If you experience long term redness in your eyes use spectacles for a period. Consult with your doctor or optometrist.
  • If you have a viral infection you should also refer back to using spectacles.
  • Contact lenses may be uncomfortable to you in a dusty, smoky or dry environment.
  • When swimming use goggles to avoid losing your contact lenses. There may also be bacteria and chlorine in the water that may cause further complications.
  • Using a computer causes your eyes to dry, use your spectacles during this period to avoid any discomfort of damage.
  • Always carry your contact lens container and spectacles with you.
  • Do not sleep without moving your contact lenses.
  • Avoid from using contact lenses 1 day a week so your eyes could rest.
  • The time you have used your contact lenses starts when you open the container.
  • Renew your contact lens container every 3-6 months.
  • If you just started using contact lenses, visit your ophthalmologist after 3-6 months for a check-up.

What you need to know about sunglasses

  • When purchasing sunglasses keep in mind that lenses without UV-protection may do more harm to your vision than good.
  • Polaroid sunglasses (lenses that do not reflect light horizontally) are slightly more expensive but of superior quality.
  • You can also buy photochromic sunglasses that change the shade of the lens according to the intensity of the light.
  • It is also possible to buy optical sunglasses with regular, polarized or photochromic lenses.