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Factors affecting prescription

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Dear readers,

Last week, I replied to a letter from a distraught eyeglass wearer. He was convinced that there was something wrong with his prescription even though his eye care practitioner insisted that his prescription was correct.{{more}}

I explained that sometimes even if the prescription may be correct, other factors could contribute to discomfort or even headaches:

– The mis-alignment of the spectacles on one’s face

– Poor centration of the lens on the eye

– Excessive overfocusing

– Osmotic changes of the natural lens of the eye, caused by diabetes, that can result in a temporary shift in prescription

-Over-accomodation that results in one having to prescribe weaker powers, even though the prescription is correct.

There are many other factors that play a role. For instance if glasses are prescribed for the distance but they are used more for near work, this can result in headaches. The opposite is also true.

– Some patients suffer from migraine and this can be worsened when combined with eyestrain. Yes, the two can coexist. That is why it is so important to make sure the headaches are eye-related and not from somewhere else.

Also make sure the glasses are not too tight. If they are tight on the temples, they can lead to headaches. Sometimes the weight of the glasses on the bridge of the nose can also elicit headaches. Be on the lookout for glasses that pinch one’s ears; they too can be the cause of headaches.

One thing to remember is that with the advent of computers and mobile phones, people are using their eyes more than ever before. Some individuals work all day on the computer and then go home to watch TV or surf the net or chat on their Blackberries. Imagine lifting small weights all day. It is obvious that you will eventually get tired and maybe even suffer some sort of pain. Even the glasses may not be enough to reduce such eye strain.

So, if you think your prescription is incorrect, return to your eye doctor. He/She will first check to see if they are too weak or too strong. If the prescription is correct, remember some of the reasons I have mentioned here.

Wishing you good eyesight. Have a great week!

Dr Kenneth Onu is a resident Consultant Ophthalmologist at the Beachmont Eye Institute/Eyes R Us Send questions to: [email protected]

Tel: 784 456-1210