When do I need glasses?

It’s not easy being this side of 40

You’ve probably noticed your vision has started to change. Don’t panic, it happens to the best of us. It happens to all of us. The only way to dodge presbyopia is to die young. And that’s not a preferred method.

Do you find yourself holding your phone out at arm’s length?

There’s a good reason why. Presbyopia makes it harder for your eyes to focus close up. As we get older, the nearest point we can focus on gets further and further away, until we find ourselves squinting and having to hold the newspaper at arm’s length.

Even if you’ve had twenty-twenty vision all your life, as the birthdays pile up, you will experience some form of vision-related trouble for the first time.

Will wearing glasses weaken my eyesight?

Although it’s a common perception that eyesight gets worse after getting your first pair of glasses, your eyesight will progress at exactly the same rate, specs or no specs.

Stories that wearing glasses will weaken your eyes are just that: stories.

But wearing glasses can make it seem as if things are getting worse. This is partly because of the natural progression of presbyopia, and partly because the blurriness becomes more noticeable when you take your glasses off.

In other words, the contrast between poor and normal vision is more noticeable after you’ve been wearing glasses for a while.

‘People get addicted to the clarity, optometrist Michael Kotow says. ‘They see so much better and they get used to it.’

Why can’t I just go to the chemist and buy a pair of glasses?

‘I am asked this question around 5 times a day,’ Ian Donald says.

‘It may work for people whose eyes had exactly the same prescription. However, in most cases, prescriptions for each eye differs and it’s just not a good solution.

‘Also, you completely bypass your optical health. For example, with glaucoma, you rarely have any pain.

Glaucoma is slow and progressive. You’d never know it was there unless you had a full eye examination.’

Oh, and the glasses from the chemist are just not that fashionable!

10 signs you need an eye test

  1. Blurred close-up vision
  2. Poor distance vision
  3. Difficulty seeing objects both close up, and at a distance (astigmatism)
  4. Difficulty seeing at night
  5. Increased difficulty adjusting from dark to light surroundings
  6. Difficulty in reading or working at a computer
  7. Eye strain or eye fatigue
  8. Frequent headaches
  9. Double vision
  10. Seeing halos around light

I need glasses, now what?

There are many different options and our experienced team at Ian Donald Optometrist will help you make the right decision, based on many factors including your lifestyle needs.

Multifocals are the most common correction for presbyopia. Multifocal lenses contains a prescription for distance vision in the top half of the lense,  while the lower portion of the lens holds the stronger near prescription for close work.

Reading glasses are another choice. Unlike multifocials, which most people wear all day, reading glasses are worn during close work.

If you wear contact lenses, your optometrist can prescribe reading glasses that you can wear while your contacts are in. And did you realise you can now enjoy the freedom of multifocal contact lenses?

Can I wear contact lenses?

If you play a lot of sport or feel self-conscious about wearing glasses, contact lenses may well be the solution for you.

At Ian Donald Optometrist, they can advise you if contact lenses are an option. An alternate contact lens option is monovision, in which one eye wears a distance prescription, and the other wears a prescription for near vision. The brain learns to favour one eye or the other for different tasks.

Will wearing glasses make me look older?

No! Glasses take centre stage and front row on your face. Use them to your advantage.

The right pair of glasses will hide signs of ageing. Finding glasses should be a fun, personalised experience that is unique to the wearer. Choose frames with turned up edges that give you a lift. Work with our optical dispensers to choose exactly the right frame for you. Go a little wild with your glasses, choose a pair in a bold colour.

Have some fun. Glasses are a fabulous accessory!

What else can I do about age-related vision changes?

Wise lifestyle choices, and eating a healthy diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants are your best natural defence against vision loss as you age.

Don’t forget to have regular eye examinations at Ian Donald Optometrist, as there are many eye diseases we can check for, long before you experience any symptoms.

Make sure you discuss all your concerns about your eyes and vision.

If you’re over 40, you need an eye test

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