Near vision is sometimes referred to by other names. You may have heard it described as nearsightedness or myopia. They all refer to the same thing – a refractive defect that means that you can see objects close to your eyes clearly, but those which are at middle or far distances appear blurred.
Refractive defects are very common and near vision is the most common of all. It occurs when the light that enters the eye is refracted so that the image forms in front of the retina, which are the light-sensitive cells at the back of the eye, rather than directly on it. This happens either as a result of the shape of the cornea, which is steeper rather than perfectly and evenly rounded or because the eyeball is too long.
In the past, there was believed to be limited forms of treatment for those patients with near vision. Fortunately, today there are multiple options available, meaning that it is easier than ever to find a vision correction solution that suits you and your lifestyle. We are delighted to be able to offer a complete range of near vision treatment options to patients in and around Omaha, NE. These include the following:
The traditional solution for near vision, eyeglasses are a very successful way of correcting refractive errors including myopia. They contain prescription lenses that work by altering the direction of the light that enters your eye so that it is accurately focused onto the retina. In doing so, the image that you see appears much more clearly. Your lenses will then be inserted into a frame of your choice, enabling you to tailor your new accessory to your own sense of style.
Exactly what prescription you will need will depend on the severity of your refractive error and this will be determined by a sight test. Prescriptions can also change over time, and you will be invited to attend regular eye tests to ensure that your eyesight is always as clear as it can be.
Contact lenses are a popular alternative to eyeglasses. They work on the same principle, but instead of sitting in frames a short distance from the eyes they sit on the tear film layer on the surface of the cornea. This means that there is no need for frames – something which some patients prefer, particularly if they feel that glasses don’t suit them or if they are inconvenient to their work or hobbies. However, some patients dislike the process of placing contacts into their eyes and removing them.
Previously, contact lenses would have to be carefully cleaned and stored overnight. However, their design has evolved and there are now various types of contact lenses available including soft, daily disposable varieties.
Since they sit on the eyes rather than in front of them, a contact lens prescription is different to that for glasses and if you decide contacts are right for you, you will need to attend an additional exam to determine your prescription.
Laser technology has made it possible for patients who have near vision, and other refractive eye errors, to see clearly without the need for any prescription eyewear. Laser vision correction involves taking images of the surface of the eye to determine the extent of the refractive error and then using laser technology to reshape the cornea so that these errors are corrected. In doing so, patients see their vision significantly improved, with many achieving 20/20 clarity or better.
Laser vision correction is a near-permanent solution. You may have heard of LASIK which is one of the most popular forms of this treatment. However, there are also others including PRK. Each has a slightly different format, so it is important to talk through your options with your eye doctor to help you determine which is right for you.
The newest solution for near vision and often referred to as a form of myopia control, Ortho-K also enables patients to enjoy clear vision without the need for prescription eyewear during the day, or laser vision correction.
Orth-K uses contact lenses that have been specially designed so that they can reshape the cornea. They are made from gas-permeable material so that they can be worn overnight, and when the tear film flows beneath them, it helps to shape the cornea into a more regular shape. Patients can then enjoy corrected vision during the day without the need for prescription eyewear. As you might expect, one overnight wear is typically not enough to reshape the cornea completely. Ongoing use is needed to reach the optimal vision. However, eventually, patients can enjoy up to 48 hours of clear vision at a time.
If you have been diagnosed with near vision and would like to discuss which treatment option may be best for you, please don’t hesitate to contact our knowledgeable, reassuring eye care team who will be happy to schedule you an appointment. Call our offices in Omaha, NE today on 402-383-0780.