August 11, 2013

What are the alternatives to glasses?

Do you ever wish you could shed your eyeglasses forever? There are times when glasses get in the way of what you want to do. It might be the humidity of a steamy summer day or a bitter winter chill causing your glasses to fog up. You might have to constantly push them up on your nose when you are exercising. And do not forget swimming, where you cannot wear them at all.
As you get older, you may end up needing multiple pairs of glasses, or at least progressive lenses, for your changing eyes. One prescription for driving, one for using the computer, one for reading. It all gets a bit hard to keep track of.
Would it not be nice to have an alternative to glasses that solved all these problems? Here are some ideas for you to consider.

Contact lenses
Contacts have come a long way from the hard disks that felt like sand in your eyes. Today’s contacts give you options for the type of lenses, how long you want to wear the lenses, and how often you want to replace the lenses. There are specific lenses that will correct astigmatism or myopia, change your eye color, or protect you from UV light.
A couple of the newest advancements include a contact lens you wear at night to allow it to reshape your cornea while you are sleeping. During the day, you do not need glasses or contacts. As always, you will have to address the maintenance of contacts to protect the health of your eyes.

Implantable lenses
These lenses are implanted surgically and help with severe near-sightedness. The surgery leaves your natural lens in place.

If you have mild near-sightedness, you can consider Intacs. These are tiny crescents that reshape the cornea. They are intended to be permanent, but the procedure is reversible. Intacs may postpone the need for corneal transplants. Their downside is your vision may not be improved.

Laser surgery
If you prefer something that offers vision repair, you want to look into the different types of laser surgery. By reshaping the cornea, laser eye surgery offers correction for near-sightedness, far-sightedness, and mild astigmatism. Laser surgery is permanent, so you need to weigh the risks such as dry eyes or distorted vision. However, your doctor will screen you for whether you are a good candidate for laser surgery.

Clear lens exchange
The clear lens exchange procedure can improve near-sightedness and far-sightedness. and protect against cataracts. In the exchange, the natural lens of your eye is replaced with an artificial lens. This is the same procedure as that performed for cataracts, but by having it earlier, you can avoid cataracts and get rid of your glasses. As an elective surgery, you need to consider the risks of not getting the results you want, and in worst cases, loss of vision, along with the out-of-pocket costs.

Depending on your age and the severity of your vision problems, you may find combining different therapies to be most beneficial. Talk to your doctor and explore your options.

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