Have you heard that you might soon be able to trade your eyeglasses for a pair of iGlasses? A new iPhone app currently in development is promising to provide exercises that will help your brain learn to compensate for some of the effects of blurred images that occur when our eyes begin to develop presbyopia or other problems as we age. While this might sound too good to be true, early clinical trials are showing promising results, with people recording increased clarity and a faster reading speed after repeated training sessions.
Presbyopia is a common problem – so common, in fact, that it affects nearly everyone over the age of 40. As the eyes age, it becomes more difficult to focus on things that are close to the eyes, and harder to read finer print. You’ll notice this phenomenon at your biennial eye exams (you do schedule regular eye exams, don’t you?) as it becomes harder and harder to see the letters on the lowest, smallest line of the eye chart. You might also notice that you’ve started holding books and newspapers at arm’s length to help you read them, or that you’ve adjusted your computer monitor over time to be farther and farther away. Because these changes can be gradual, without regular eye exams it’s sometimes easy to overlook that you might need to wear glasses to help you read.
Many people skip the eye exams and go straight to the corner store for a pair of inexpensive reading glasses. These glasses come in various strengths, and while it’s true that some people may be able to use them successfully, for most people they won’t work as well. The strength of the lenses might not match exactly what you need; in addition, most peoples’ eyes focus at different lengths on each side, so they need a pair of glasses where each lens is adjusted to fit the specific eye.
By getting regular eye exams, you’ll be able to keep your eyes in optimum health and this will result in better reading speed for three reasons: you’ll be able to focus more quickly, you’ll be able to read smaller print without slowing down, and your eyes won’t get fatigued as easily.
If you haven’t had an eye exam in over three years, we encourage you to schedule one today.