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Norwood - Local Town Pages

Why Your Vision Changes: Common Eye Problems Demystified

By Graham R. Stetson, OD, MS
Pardon the pun, but the importance of clear vision is pretty clear. A fundamental aspect of daily life, it allows us to better navigate and enjoy our world. Unfortunately, many individuals experience common vision problems (aka refractive errors) that can make it difficult to see clearly. Understanding these conditions and available treatments is crucial for maintaining optimal eye health and visual acuity.
Our eyes grow from when we are born until about the time when we stop growing taller. This causes our eyes’ refractive properties to change during that time. Around the age of 45, people begin to need different prescriptions for distance and near.
Myopia, or nearsightedness, occurs when the eyeball is too long or the cornea is too curved, causing light rays to focus in front of the retina instead of directly on it. This results in blurred vision when looking at objects in the distance, while close-up vision remains clear. 
On the other hand, hyperopia (“farsightedness”), occurs when the eyeball is too short or the cornea is too flat, causing light rays to focus behind the retina instead of on it. As a result, close-up objects may appear blurry, while distant objects are often clear.
Astigmatism is another common refractive error that occurs when the cornea and/or lens is irregularly shaped, causing light rays to focus at two different spots. This results in distorted or blurred vision at all distances. Astigmatism is essentially a complicated version of myopia, hyperopia, or a mix of both.
Presbyopia affects near vision, typically becoming noticeable around age 45. It occurs when the natural lens of the eye loses its flexibility, making it difficult to focus on close-up objects. 
Fortunately, these vision problems can be corrected with eyeglasses, contact lenses, or with refractive surgery. Eyeglasses and contact lenses work by bending the light that enters the eye, allowing them to focus correctly on the retina. Refractive surgery, such as LASIK, reshapes the cornea to improve the way light is focused.
Regular eye exams are essential for correcting these common vision problems and monitoring your eye health. An eyecare professional can determine the extent of the refractive error and recommend the most suitable treatment option. Early detection can prevent some vision problems from worsening and improve overall quality of life.
For more advice, schedule an eye exam by calling (781) 352-4849 or stop into the office at 696 Washington Street in downtown Norwood.