Nearsightedness, Farsightedness, Astigmatism, & the require for Glasses (Presbyopia)

This web page discusses several topics concerning "refractive error", or the need for glasses or contact lenses. Info on "eyestrain" and visual troubles related to computer system use space covered as well.

You are watching: What is 20/50 vision

Read this crucial information prior to proceeding further:These sections are not plan to change the expert examination and also diagnosis by a physician, and also they room presented here purely for informational purposes. All feasible diagnoses and treatment choices are not covered, and also the information questioned should no be taken together a referral to self-diagnose and self-treat a condition. A misdiagnosed or improperly treated eye condition can result in a permanent loss the vision, or a permanent loss of role of the eye or intuitive system. In the case of any kind of eye problem, seek medical attention promptly. This can encompass emergency room treatment, and treatment by a medical physician or eyecare provider.

How the eye focuses light

In order for vision to be clear, the eye must emphasis light onto a specific spot top top the retina. This clues is dubbed the macula, and also is located straight back through the eye ~ above the inside ago surface the the eye. This has actually been compared to the movie of a camera. As soon as light first encounters the eye, the cornea is the an initial surface that is reached. The simple curvature the the cornea accounts for about 80% the the concentrating that the eye does. Light then passes with the pupil and also comes to the lens of the eye. The lens walk the remainder of the focusing. The lens is additionally able to readjust the lot of concentrating that is does, so points at different distances deserve to come into emphasis (like an auto-focusing camera). The closer that things is to the eye, the an ext focusing the lens needs to do in bespeak to make the image clear.

In this depiction of a normally concentrating eye, the image of the red overcome is shown to be focused straight onto the retina.

The need for optical correction for distance vision

The state nearsightedness, farsightedness, and also astigmatism are questioned here.

Nearsightedness (myopia)

With nearsightedness or "myopia", light is concentrated in prior of the retina quite than directly on it. This leader to a normally closer point of focus. Depending on how nearsighted the eye is, a nearby object comes into focus without the lens in the eye having actually to work-related to lug it into focus. Unfortunately, the lens in the eye can not "defocus", so the street vision will constantly be blurry (without optical correction) because that a nearsighted eye.

There room several factors why one eye might be nearsighted. If the curvature the the cornea is too much (or too steep), the light will certainly be focused in front of the retina. Some eyes grow abnormally long, which deserve to lead to an extremely high levels of nearsightedness. Some species of cataract in the lens will reason the lens to focus light more strongly, top to raising nearsightedness.

Nearsightedness is corrected optically with a minus powered lens (glasses or contact). Refractive surgery such together Lasik and PRK can an ext permanently exactly nearsightedness.

Farsightedness (hyperopia)

Farsightedness (or hyperopia) is a rather misunderstood term. It means that the street vision would certainly be clear, but the close to vision would certainly be blurry (the the opposite of nearsightedness). However, this is not necessarily true. Through farsightedness, the eye walk not focus light strongly enough to reach the retina. Instead, irradiate is concentrated behind the retina. But for numerous people, the lens in the eye is capable of adding extra focusing (usually for focusing on near objects such as reading). Thus, if one eye has sufficient focusing ability, that can focus away farsightedness, and also the street vision will certainly be clean without glasses. However, this can take far from its capacity to then emphasis on a near object.

There is a natural decrease in the capability of the lens to focus as one ages. Someone might be unknowingly farsighted and have clear distance vision at age 30. However, by period 50, the lens in the eye deserve to no longer focus well, and also the human being may require glasses for street vision. Refractive surgical treatment such as Lasik and PRK can an ext permanently exactly farsightedness, although the amount of farsightedness that is correctable is much less than what can corrected in instances of nearsightedness.


Astigmatism occurs once the curvature that the cornea is no perfectly ring in every directions. In one direction (or axis) the curvature is better (steeper), and also in the contrary direction is is lesser (flatter). This deserve to be contrasted to the curvature the a spoon. In a round soup spoon, every one of the curvatures room the same, and also there would be no astigmatism. However, in a teaspoon, the spoon is curved an ext gradually along the size of the spoon, and an ext steeply along the width of the spoon. The direction the astigmatism is measured in levels from 1 come 180 (like degrees on a protractor). 180 degrees is perfect horizontal, when 90 degrees is directly up and also down. Glasses correcting astigmatism add extra strength in the direction required to equalize the distinction in curvature that the cornea.

The require for optical convey for near vision

The focusing capability of the lens that the eye allows objects at various distances to come into clarity with little or no aware effort on ours part. However, this focusing ability definitely declines with age. This decline in focusing ability is referred to as "presbyopia". Presbyopia can occur in despite the of any kind of underlying nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism. The concentrating power that the lens in measured in "diopters". To emphasis on nearby objects, the lens has to focus increasingly more. The diopter power of the lens is period dependent. That is not totally understood why the focusing ability of the eye declines with age. The adhering to table shows exactly how the power of the lens alters with age:

A 10 year old has 14 diopters that powerA 20 year old has actually 10 dioptersA 30 year old has 7 dioptersA 40 year old has actually 4.5 dioptersA 45 year old has 3.5 dioptersA 50 year old has 2.5 dioptersA 60 year old has 1 diopter

To review at the normal distance the 16 inches, the lens in the eye needs to focus around 3 diopters. Note that the lens is only comfortable focusing at its full capacity for a short period of time. It is much more comfortable concentrating with around 1/2 of its full ability for any type of duration that time. Thus, indigenous the over table, a 40 year old, with only 4.5 diopters of strength available, may begin to experience an obstacle reading in ~ 16 inches for any type of extended lot of time. A 45 come 50 year old may not have the ability to focus in ~ that street at all. It is possible to hold reading material further away 보다 16 inches, however eventually civilization will suffer the phenomenon of your arms not being long enough to read!

Reading glasses offer extra strength so the the lens in the eye go not need to excessively focus. If no distance glasses space needed:

A 44 year old might need a analysis glasses power of about +1.00 to +1.25.A 45 to 49 year old may need a +1.50 come +1.75 reading glasses power.A human being older than 49 may need a +2.00 come +2.50 analysis glasses power.

The specific power wanted for reading glasses may vary based upon what distance an separation, personal, instance prefers to host the analysis material. If a person also has a distance glasses prescription, the analysis power essential is included to that distance prescription. In this situation, bifocals can be used. A bifocal lens has actually the distance prescription at the peak of the lens, and also the extra power necessary for analysis at the bottom.

Another complication of the decline in focusing ability is a reduced range of focus. A human being may be able to use reading glasses to check out at 16 inches, but not in ~ 12 inches, and not in ~ 19 inches. The usage of "progressive" bifocal lenses allow for an increased range of focus, with there being raising power in the bifocal from optimal to bottom (also a "lineless" bifocal). A trifocal has actually a weaker powered section in the center for reading at arm"s length, and also a much more powerful ar at the bottom because that closer reading. Over there are also contact lenses v bifocal powers.

How vision is tested

A person"s "uncorrected" vision refers to the intuitive acuity when no glasses or call lenses space used. The "best corrected" vision is the intuitive acuity through the ideal glasses or contact lens prescription for that person. Each eye is usually tested separately, although the vision may be slightly far better with both eyes together.

The notation of intuitive acuity is composed as a fraction, v normal vision gift 20/20 (twenty twenty vision). In ~ a 20 foot distance, (the optimal number in the fraction, or experimentation distance), a human being with normal vision should have the ability to read the tiny 20/20 line on one eye chart. The smallest line the an eye deserve to read is its visual acuity. If larger lines than the 20/20 line room all that deserve to be read, the intuitive acuity may be 20/30, 20/60, etc. The larger the second number is, the worse is the vision. A person with 20/200 vision would have to come as much as 20 feet to see a letter the a human with regular vision can see at 200 feet! Similarly, if the vision is 20/10, it means that the vision is far better than normal. A human being with 20/10 vision can read a letter at 20 feet the a human being with common vision would have to come as much as 10 feet to read.

Eye charts in workplaces are calibrated for different test distances, so that rooms perform not have to be 20 feet long.

Certain visual acuities have special significance. Some of these are:

20/20 vision is thought about normal vision.20/40 vision uncorrected in at the very least one eye is the vision forced to pass countless state driving tests (for driving without glasses).20/50 vision or worse is often the visual reduction the is considered poor enough by most patients to need cataract surgery, if that is the cause of the intuitive loss.20/200 vision is taken into consideration legally blind (a human being is not considered legally blind uneven both eyes room 20/200 or worse, or if over there are serious constrictions in the peripheral vision).

What is eyestrain?

Eyestrain describes a sensation of exhaustion of the eyes. Typically this is associated with an extensive reading or near work. A person experiencing eyestrain may have actually some or every one of these symptoms:

Eye fatigue and even gentle achingOcular rednessBlurred vision at close to or distanceTrouble holding points in focus, with fluctuation of visionA slower than normal adjustment of focusing when going in between near and distance focusingHeadache (usually over or behind the eyes)A emotion of ocular drynessBrief twin vision

There room several different things that can lead to eyestrain symptoms. When the muscle inside of the eye that controls concentrating is overworked, symptoms can occur. In countless cases, these symptoms will not begin immediately, yet only ~ several hours of work. As soon as the muscle in the eye becomes fatigued, the eyes may feel uncomfortable or ache. The vision might blur off and also on. A mild headache can occur if the eyes proceed to work. In part cases, the muscle in ~ the eye can end up being so fatigued that it cannot totally unfocus, causing blurred street vision. The following things can add to eyestrain:

Having to read or usage a computer system at a fixed, set distance because that a long consistent period that time. Even if a human has an ext than adequate concentrating ability, focusing at a collection distance consistently can tiredness the lens.Having to read or work-related at very close distances. This requires much more focusing and also leads to an ext rapid fatigue.Using inadequately powered reading glasses, or making use of an outdated glasses prescription.Working in situations with inadequate lighting, or through glare native overhead lighting.Having other underlying eye problems, such as ocular allergy or dry eye.Having one imbalance in eye muscle alignment or prescriptions, so the the eye cannot focus on a close to object simultaneously.

Things that deserve to be done to act or stop eyestrain include:

Take frequent, brief breaks from close to work, at least every 20 minutes, for 1 or 2 minutes. Throughout this time, nearby the eyes or look at off into the distance. This helps the eye muscles to continue to be refreshed.Change the distance that you job-related frequently. If the eyes space feeling significantly fatigued, organize things additional away quite than closer come you. Stop getting very close come what you are reading.Get an eye test to determine if the distance glasses prescription if correct, and also if you might need reading glasses. Sometimes reading glasses must only it is in used close to the finish of the day once the eyes are becoming fatigued. Other people may require separate reading glasses to usage at work or v a computer.Treat any type of other eye problems, such together dry eye, together indicated. Fabricated tears used occasionally may help. Avoid having actually moving waiting from fans blowing straight on you.Try to enhance the bright situation, if possible. If reading, having the light resource coming from behind, over your shoulder, helps to prevent glare problems. If using a computer, dark print on a white or irradiate gray lift is less fatiguing come the eyes than multicolored print. Occasionally a glass filter end a computer system screen through an anti-reflective coating can assist with computer system glare. These deserve to be purchased native office supply stores. Also, perform not forget to typically dust the computer screen, because this have the right to blur the picture on the screen.

Eyestrain will certainly not permanently damage the eyes or cause a loss of vision. However, it deserve to be really uncomfortable and also lead to a lose of productivity.

How to read and also understand a glasses or call prescription

Glasses prescriptions room not daunting to understand. First of all, the appropriate eye is usually provided first, and is noted by O.D. The left eye is O.S. The prescription has mainly three parts: the sphere, the cylinder and axis, and the add.

The round determines nearsightedness or farsightedness. No ball is provided as "plano". If the power is a minus, that is a nearsighted prescription. If the is a plus, that is farsighted. Soft prescriptions room in the variety of to add or minus 1 to 3, if high prescriptions space over to add or minus 5 to 7.

The cylinder and axis stand for the astigmatism correction. Cylinder is strength in a details direction, and also can be created as a add to or a minus strength (ophthalmologists normally use plus, optometrists usage minus). The axis is the direction that the power. It is measure in degrees, native 1 come 180. Axis 180 is perfect horizontal, when axis 90 is directly up and down. This is like the degrees on a protractor. Most world would not notice a readjust in axis of 5 come 10 degrees, uneven the cylinder strength is fairly high (say, end +2.00). Many civilization do not tolerate glasses v high cylinder due to distortion.

The add is extr power inserted in a bifocal. This is always a add to power, and also is comparable to a add to farsighted ball power. This usually ranges from a +1.00 to +3.50. The average greatest power that human being need in a bifocal for analysis is a +2.25.

Contact lens prescriptions are similar to glasses prescriptions. However, they likewise state the surname and type of contact lens being used, any kind of tint in the lens, the base curve that the lens, and the diameter. The power of contact lenses are usually just plus or minus sphere powers. Only with unique astigmatism correcting toric lenses is over there a cylinder strength (always a minus power for contacts) and also an axis.

The base curve determines how tight the lens is on the eye. The usually arrays from an 8.3 (tight) come a 9.0 (looser). In soft lenses, there room usually just a couple of choices because that the base curve (tight, medium, or loose), and also there might be just one diameter (the broad of the lens). Difficult lenses and also gas permeable lenses space custom made and have much more choices.

See more: How Much Is An Abraham Lincoln Coin 1861 To 1865 Worth Today

Using Advanced technology Lens Implants to alleviate the need for Distance and Reading Glasses at the moment of Cataract Surgery

At the time of cataract surgery, intraocular lens implants space routinely offered to aid reduce or get rid of the need for glasses or call lenses after the surgical procedure in addition to boosting the vision by removed the cataract. With Advanced technology Lens Implants, there is an increased capability to minimize or remove the require for glasses ~ surgery. This is v the use of multifocal and also accommodating lens implants to alleviate the need for analysis glasses ~ surgery, and the use of toric lens implants to aid correct greater levels of astigmatism at the time of surgery.