Fact or Fiction?

Fact or Fiction - Odessa Eye Doctor

Common misconceptions about your eyes, prescription glasses, and contacts.

False – Glasses and contact lenses only change the way light rays bend. If you wear your glasses the way your doctor prescribed, you will see more clearly. Your eyes will change as you age which is a normal part of the aging process, but your eyes will not get better or worse from wearing prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses as directed by your doctor.

False – Eye exercises cannot alter your refractive condition whether it be myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), presbyopia (inability to focus for near), or astigmatism. Clarity of vision only comes from changing the way light bends using prescription glasses or contact lenses.

True & False – While there is a large genetic component to certain eye conditions, eating healthy and living a clean lifestyle can prolong certain diseases or slow them from progression but will not prevent or stop them. Some age related conditions like cataracts are inevitable if you live long enough, but with surgical intervention cataracts can easily be removed and vision can be restored.

False – Your axis will change throughout your life. Typically your axis is near 180 degrees when you are young and as you age it slowly moves towards 90 degrees.

True & False – There are many variables to consider if you are not seeing well out of your prescription eyeglasses. The prescription accuracy, the eyeglass lens material, frame size, measurements taken for the lenses, how the frame is adjusted, and eye conditions such as dry eyes or cataracts. All things need to be taken into consideration when a patient is having difficulty seeing. One or more of these variables can cause blurry vision. It is best to have the glasses checked first and if everything was made correctly and accurately then have the doctor check your exam results.

True – You will eventually reach presbyopia (inability of the eye to focus at near) which typically becomes apparent in the 40’s. Once this occurs reading glasses are needed to see well at near. Myopic (nearsighted) patients can compensate for this because their ability to see without corrective contacts or eyeglasses allows them to naturally see close. Once a person becomes presbyopic they will use either reading glasses, bifocals, or progressives.

True – For the majority of people this is true. The definitions are slightly simplistic and need more dissection to really understand the differences behind both but for a very basic and easy way to understand this the listed explanation holds true for the majority of people.

False – Astigmatism has nothing to do with the shape of your “eye.” It does have something to do with the shape of your cornea and possibly the crystalline lens inside of your eye. Again, this is an overly simplified definition that I really do not like. I prefer to explain to my patients that an astigmatism is when the cornea has more than one power. When the cornea does not have an astigmatism the power is the same in all aspects. The patient with an astigmatism has power felt throughout the cornea but also has one additional power at a specific meridian. This may sound abstract so an easy way to understand this is draw a circle. The circle represents your cornea. That circle will have a certain power, let’s say +1.00. That power is felt, or represented throughout the entire circle no matter how you look at it. This represents a person without an astigmatism. The person with an astigmatism has the exact same +1.00 throughout their cornea but also has one additional power felt only at one meridian. We can represent this by drawing one line through the center of the circle which is where the astigmatism is felt. The astigmatism is typically represented by a minus number as seen below in this illustration.