For advice on children’s glasses, click here.
What is short-sightedness or near-sightedness (myopia)?
Myopia is when the vision for far distance is blurry, but the vision close up is better.
What is long-sightedness or far-sightedness (hyperopia)?
Hyperopia is when the vision for near is more blurry or straining on the eyes than the vision for far distance.
What is astigmatism?
Astigmatism is relating to the shape of the eyes, where both close and distance vision are out of focus. The extent of blurred vision or eyestrain depends on the amount of astigmatism present in the eyes. Astigmatism is usually accompanied by myopia or hyperopia.
Why do I need reading glasses?
The near vision usually starts altering around the age of early- to mid-40s. This is known as presbyopia, and has nothing to do with myopia, hyperopia or astigmatism. Presbyopia is when the eye fails to focus (like it used to) at near objects, such as reading, and one finds that they are holding things further away from them to see clearly. This is simply to do with ageing of the eyes. (People who are myopic struggle less from presbyopia than people who are hyperopic).
Which type of glasses are best for me?
This is best left to your eye care practitioner to advise. There are so many options available nowadays and recommendations are dependant on many factors such as one’s occupation, hobbies, lifestyle, etc. One myth we would like to rule out though is that varifocals are not as difficult to get used to as you might have been led to believe! Ask your eye care practitioner for advice on the latest products.
Do I need any special coatings on my glasses lenses?
We always recommend the scratch-resistant coating. Remember, this is a scratch-resistant coating and not scratch-proof, so you will still get scratches on your lenses over time, but not too many hopefully! We would generally also recommend the anti-reflective coating. This coating cuts out some unwanted reflections giving you a less-distracting view of what you are looking at. This coating is particularly useful for computer-users, working in artificial lighting and driving at night. Light-reactive or photochromic lenses change colour in sunlight and remain clear indoors and at night. Strictly speaking, this is not a coating. Nevertheless, you can discuss with your eye care practitioner if this option is appropriate for you. Lastly, we are aware of a blue-light protection coating or blue-light filter coating which some opticians are selling. There is no scientific evidence that this coating or “protection” is necessary or even required, so we strongly advise against wasting your money on this one!
Does wearing glasses make my eyes lazy?
This is the other myth we would like to rule out. Answer: No! Glasses are prescribed to simply give you clear vision and relieve eye strain. The fact that many people wear their glasses more as they get older is simply to do with (yes, you guessed it!) ageing.
Always seek professional advice from your eye care practitioner regarding wearing glasses, including wearing the ‘off-the-shelf’ reading glasses.
Useful link: we like this analysis by allaboutvision.com on choosing the right shape frame for your glasses.