Unlike some other skills we use in our everyday lives, driving relies almost exclusively on our sense of sight. We feel our feet on the ground as we move about or know we are sitting in a chair; we are fully aware of our surroundings. This sensory information lets us know where the ground or chair is. When you are driving, there is no movement of your body. It is totally about your vision and how precisely your two eyes work together. If your eyes are not aligned perfectly, you may think an object is closer or farther away....
If you are coming in to your 40s, you may be noticing that your eyesight is changing. You have to strain a little to read, holding the book or newspaper farther away, or you find you need to wear bifocals. You may even notice a bit of clouding of the lens of your eyes. What is going on? Your eyes, like many other parts of the body, are showing signs of aging. The Crystalline lens in your eye is becoming less flexible. This makes it more difficult for the lens to adjust and focus when you look from far to near.
Age takes its toll on all parts of the body, even the eyes. While conditions such as glaucoma are not necessarily inevitable as we get older, they are still possibilities that can change the way we see. It always pay to practice foresight – it just may save your eyesight. Glaucoma is a rather complex disease. Simply put, it occurs when fluid pressure builds up in your eyes. Approximately two and a half quarts of fluid, called aqueous humor, pumps through the eyes every day, providing nutrients to the inside of the eyes.
Visual efficiency is more than 20/20 vision, and there is much more to reading problems than dyslexia or ADHD. About 85 percent of schooling is visual-
A concussion, also known as a traumatic brain injury (TBI) or an acquired brain injury, can adversely affect vision. Unfortunately, possible visual problems are often overlooked during the initial treatment of a concussion. Perhaps a coach or doctor will move a finger in front of the patient’s eyes to see how they track movement, but this cursory examination does not get to the deeper repercussions of the injury.
It is interesting to note how eyesight has evolved. The vision system used to be more about looking far afield for what could be hunted and eaten – and what could hunt and eat us. These days, people are spending more time with their gazes fixed on their computer or TV screens or cell phones. There are certain physical dynamics to this everyday phenomenon. There is a lens inside the eye that flexes and focuses, so when we look at things up close, that lens has to work extra hard.
What happened the last time you went on the Mad Tea Party ride at DisneyWorld? Did you enjoy yourself initially, but as the ride went on, did you start to feel sick and disoriented? When you closed your eyes, however, you probably felt much better. And you were immensely glad when the ride ended and you could get your bearings again.
It may surprise you to learn eye-
Whether they’re swinging at a fastball, shooting free throws, lining up a putt or setting up a dig, athletes depend a great deal on their vision. They have to keep their eye on the ball in order to connect properly and hit a homer, make the basket, sink the putt or send a spike between two opponents. Many pro teams have a vision therapy program for their players. The program works on improving the athletes’ recognition and response. A sports vision therapist will show a baseball player photographers of a pitcher holding a ball...
Vision involves over 70% of the neural pathways of the brain. Vision is more than eye sight. Vision is the only body system that continues to develop after birth. Vision involves the way the eyes and brain interact. It takes approximately three years for the eyes to learn how to work together. When they do not, it can result in the eyes turning in (esotropia) or out (exotropia), crossed eyes (strabismus) or lazy eye (amblyopia).
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Age takes its toll on all parts of the body, even the eyes. While conditions such as glaucoma are not necessarily inevitable as we get older, they are still possibilities that can change the way we see. It always pay to practice foresight – it just may save your eyesight.
Glaucoma is a rather complex disease. Simply put, it occurs when fluid pressure builds up in your eyes. Approximately two and a half quarts of fluid, called aqueous humor, pumps through the eyes every day, providing nutrients to the inside of the eyes. This fluid is constantly being pumped in and out of your eyes. The pumping keeps the fluid clear and clean so you can see well through it. The way glaucoma works can be compared to a faucet and drain. As long as both parts are working fine and everything flows smoothly, you have no problem with backups or clogs. But sometimes the fluid gets blocked instead of flowing out of your eyes as normal. The blockage causes the pressure in your eyes, so the balance between inflow and outflow is important. A person can be born with glaucoma, but that only happens rarely. Usually the condition is related to age. Your risk of developing glaucoma rises a percentage point with each decade.
Unfortunately, glaucoma has no warning signals. The condition is painless and the pressure buildup that steals your eyesight is so slow and steady that most people have no idea they even have
glaucoma until they realize half their vision is gone. That is why glaucoma is called the “sneak thief of sight.” The sooner it is caught, the better able your eye doctor will be to keep it under control.
One of the first signs that you have glaucoma is a loss of peripheral or side vision. Visual field testing can check it. You may also see halos around lights or experience narrow or tunnel vision. Your eye doctor will check for glaucoma by dilating your eyes. This will give him a better view of your optic nerve. The pressure in the eyes often damages this nerve. The doctor will also perform a tonometry test to check the fluid pressure in your eyes. Treatment may include eye drops taken once or twice daily. These drops help relieve the pressure by either increasing the outflow of the aqueous humor or reducing its production. Another option is laser surgery, which can increase the flow of fluid from the eye. One microsurgery procedure is used to create a new channel to help drain the fluid and relieve the pressure in the eye. You should talk about your options with your eye doctor.
Glaucoma is essentially a neurode-
lost vision cannot be restored. However, with proper treatment, the progress of the disease can be slowed down and the vision you still have can be saved. As with diabetes or high blood pressure, the ultimate goal with glaucoma is maintenance. Here, too, prevention is worth multiple pounds of cure.
Dr. Graebe received both his B.S degree in Visual Science and Doctorate of Optometry from Indiana University. He is a Behavioral Optometrist and learning expert. He has been in private practice here in the Bluegrass area for the past 32 years.