Medicated glasses are simply those that have been prescribed to match the wearer’s specific needs. They are also known as medicated glasses.
About 253 million people worldwide have refractive errors and need medicated glasses. 90% of this burden lies in developing and low to middle-income countries. In Nigeria, an estimated 4.25 million people are blind or visually impaired. Over 80% of this visual impairment is from avoidable causes. Another study in Nigeria found that less than 5% of people with refractive errors use medicated glasses. This is due to a lack of awareness or lack of access to good healthcare and eye care.
Medicated glasses should be gotten as soon as possible
Medicated glasses are typically prescribed by an eye doctor and are given to correct certain refractive errors. Refractive errors are abnormalities in the vision that prevents clear sight. They occur when irregularities in your eye prevent the light from focusing properly on the inner portion of the eye.
It is pretty common and can affect people mildly, moderately, or severely. Most people have a refractive error and they don’t know it. Wearing glasses that have been designed with your refractive error in mind will help you see clearly.
These errors strain your eye and make seeing difficult so wearing medicated glasses will immediately take off the strain caused by the error and improve your vision. They might not necessarily correct the error but they definitely make seeing and by extension, your quality of life better.
Types of refractive errors
There are four types of refractive errors:
- Astigmatism makes objects that could be nearby or far away look distorted and blurry.
- Myopia is also known as nearsightedness or short-sightedness. It makes far away objects look distorted.
- Hyperopia is also known as long-sightedness or far-sightedness. It makes objects that are close by look distorted.
- Presbyopia is an age-related change in the eyes that makes it difficult for middle-aged and elderly people to see things up close.
How do I know I need medicated glasses?
You might need medicated glasses if you experience one or more of the following symptoms:
- You have frequent headaches. Normally, having headaches does not automatically mean you need glasses. However, if the headaches are frequent and occur when you’ve been staring at screens for a while, you might definitely need them. If you’ve noticed this, getting an eye checkup is helpful.
- You’re experiencing double vision. ‘Seeing double’ can be a sign that you have an eye disorder or some other health condition. It’s best to consult an eye doctor as soon as possible if you experience this frequently.
- Distorted vision. This means that objects appear fuzzy or blurry to you whether far away or close by. For instance, if you find it difficult to read signs on the road or read words in books, you should see an eye doctor.
- Watery eyes. If you frequently have watery eyes, without crying, that is, you might need glasses. It could also be a sign of allergies, dryness of the eyes, or other health conditions. It’s better to have it checked out.
- Frequent rubbing of the eyes. Rubbing the eyes frequently throughout the day may mean that your eyes are fatigued. This could mean that your eyes are straining themselves to see and could be a sign that you have a refractive error.
- Night blindness. Being unable to see well at night while driving or even going to the bathroom at night, may mean that you have an issue with your eyes. This gets worse over time so it’s advisable to see an eye doctor as soon as possible.
- Squinting. If you’re always squinting to see clearly or you’ve noticed that your vision gets better when you squint, you need to see an eye doctor as soon as possible.
- You have issues seeing clearly defined lines. If you’ve noticed that you can’t seem to place lines that are defined clearly, you definitely need to get your eyes checked out.
- You see auras around objects in bright lights. If you see an aura, a halo, or a fuzzy area of light around objects in bright light, you need to speak to an eye doctor. It could be a sign that you need to get checked out.
Do I really need medicated glasses?
If you’ve noticed a few of the symptoms mentioned above, it’s likely that you do. Wearing glasses should not be a cause of shame or stigma, instead, glass wearers are attributed with intelligence and wit. It’s best to see an eye doctor that is licensed and qualified as soon as possible.
Will Medicated glasses make my vision problems worse?
No, that’s a myth. Glasses will help correct refractive errors to an extent, depending on their severity. However, it’s important to have frequent check-ups with your eye doctor so that your prescription can be changed if possible.
Can I wear Medicated contact lenses instead?
Yes. If you don’t like glasses, medicated contact lenses can be worn. However, it’s best to get them from a licensed eye doctor and they should be used with caution.
Your eyesight is very important and can greatly affect your quality of life. You have to be very proactive about it and take steps to ensure that it is preserved for a happy life.
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Till my next post,
Dr. Omotola Oke