Glasses are the aid to vision for majority of people. All around the globe, the number of people using glasses is increasing. We have gone from hunters and gatherers to book keepers as the evolution sailed by. This has led to increased near work with limited outdoor activities. Our eyes have adapted to this new need. We have become myopic.Myopia is a condition where the individual has a higher than required eye power for distance while he sees the near objects just fine. In order to reduce this extra optical power, we use minus lenses. Traditionally, the treatment for myopia has been glasses. In the short past, contact lenses have become popular but glasses continue to rule the majority. The glasses tend to break, smudge, fade and get scratched. In high powers, they tend to alter the image of the world. Things are no more the same that you think. Most of us do not like to wear glasses, but what options do we have? Looking for answers, read on.
Normally, a person realises that his vision is less while in school. It’s in the school when you see that you are not able to see the blackboard. The kid complains to the teacher or the parent. The parents and teachers become aware and brings the child to the eye clinic. Then the child gets his examination. On detection of myopia, he gets his first pair of glasses. Subsequently, with glasses, the vision improves but the magnitude of myopia gradually increases. As a result, there is change in glasses. This increase stops at about the age of 20 years, a time when the youngsters are careful about their looks.
Laser refractive surgery, made famous by the name LASIK, is coming up in a big way. Earlier deemed as a cosmetic surgery for those who hate glasses, LASIK (General term for Laser refractive surgery) has now become a common procedure. The first procedure to use excimer laser to remove glasses was Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK). This procedure had a longer recovery time and patient discomfort. Later came LASIK, followed by ReLEx and SMILE. All these procedures has good proven track record and safety margin. These procedure differ from each other in terms of patient suitability, comfort level, magnitude of treatable error etc. The choice varies from patient to patient, which your doctor can guide you after examining your eye. The laser refractive surgeries treat the cornea. However, they do not treat the lens. Hence, all the patients will require reading glasses for near around the age of 40. This disheartens many.
There are a lot of patients who are already 35 years old and want to have glasses removed. I get such patients frequently. Do they have any option? In today’s world, they do.The option for people who are nearing or crossed the age of 40 is refractive lens exchange. Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) is now very popular across the globe. With the advent of newer models of multifocal lenses, the visual outcome has increased many folds. As per American Academy of Ophthalmologists, RLE has become more common in the recent times for older patients.When a patient of age 40 walks into my office and he is prescribed near glasses, he is definitely taken aback by the fact that he has to now use glasses. He fights back saying he never had to wear glasses. Such patients ask for options and RLE is one of them. Some go ahead while some shy away. After all, it’s the choice of the patient.It’s more like those who run to colour their hair even at the slightest hint of grey. Active and dynamic individuals who do not want the need of glasses to interfere with their day to day activities decide for RLE. With the passing time, it has become a safer and easily available procedure.