Plus and Minus Prescriptions
Let's break it down
So you’ve established you have a plus or minus eye prescription, but what does this mean exactly?
Minus Prescriptions: Short Sightedness
Short sightedness (or in medial terms Myopia) is a very common eye condition that causes distant objects to appear blurred, while close objects can be seen clearly.
It’s thought to affect up to 1 in 3 people in the UK and is becoming more common.
Short-sightedness can range from mild, where treatment may not be required, to severe, where a person’s vision is significantly affected.
The higher the number following the minus sign on your prescription, the more severe.
The lenses in your glasses may need to be thinned for certain higher prescription strengths.
Want to know more about lense thinning?
What about age?
In children the condition can start from 6 to 13 years. During teenage years when the body grows rapidly, myopia may become worse. It can also occur in adults, though less common.
Signs that your child may be short-sighted can include:
- Needing to sit at the front of the class because they find it hard to read the board.
- Sitting close to the TV.
- Complaining about headaches and tired eyes.
- Regularly rubbing their eyes.
What causes short sightedness?
Short sightedness usually occurs when the eyes grow slightly too long.
This means light doesn’t focus on the light sensitive tissue (retina) at the back of the eye properly.
Instead light rays focus just in front of the retina, resulting in distant objects appearing blurred.
How is myopia corrected?
It’s corrected by using a concave (curved inwards) lens which is placed in front of a myopic eye, moving the image back to the retina and making it clearer.
Are you short sighted but not keen on wearing glasses? Contact lenses could be a brilliant alternative for you!
Plus prescriptions: Long sightedness
Long- sightedness (or in medical terms hyperopia or hypermetropia) affects the ability to see nearby objects. You may be able to see distant objects clearly but closer objects are normally out of focus.
It often affects adults over 40 but can actually affect people of all ages- even kids and babies!
Long sightedness affects people in different ways:
Some people have trouble focusing on nearby objects while others may struggle to see clearly at any distance.
If you are long sighted you may:
- Find nearby objects appear fuzzy and out of focus but distant ones are clear.
- Have to squint to see clearly.
- Have tired or strained eyes after activities that involve focus on nearby objects such as reading or computer work.
- Experience headaches.
- Children who are long sighted often have no obvious issues with their vision at first but if left untreated can lead to problems such as a squint or lazy eye.
Again, the stronger the power, the higher the number following the plus sign. Thinning is also sometimes needed with higher prescriptions.
Want to know more about lenses thinning?
What causes long-sightedness?
Long-sightedness is when the eye does not focus on the retina properly.
This may be because:
- The eyeball is too short
- The Cornea (transparent layer at the front of the eye) is too flat
- The lenses inside the eye are unable to focus properly
Sometimes long-sightedness may be the result of genes you inherited from your parents, or as a result of the lenses in your eyes becoming stiffer with age.
How is long sightedness corrected?
Longsightedness is corrected using a convex (outward facing) lens. This is placed in front of a hypermetropic eye, moving the image forward and focusing in it correctly on the retina.
If you’re long sighted and want to correct your vision without glasses, then contact lenses may be the perfect solution!
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