15 April 2014 | ZEISS Vision Care
Which of our senses is the most important? Usually, the answer to this question in today's knowledge-based society is: our sight. This certainly comes as no surprise when we remember that most of the information we receive these days is communicated and assimilated visually. So, what better time to answer the most important questions about better vision?
How can you detect a visual impairment?
There are many different situations in which people notice that they do not see as well as they need to – traffic signs are blurred, they have to hold the newspaper farther and farther away to read it, and they sometimes even have physical symptoms like headaches or a stiff neck. An unnoticed deterioration in our vision is unpleasant at the very least, and even dangerous in some cases. To detect visual impairment at an early stage, we should all test our eyes on a regular basis. One good way of testing your own eyes is the practical Online Vision Test from ZEISS. However, only a regular check by an eye care professional can provide detailed information on the current status of our vision.
Optometrist or ophthalmologist – who is the right expert to consult?
The optometrist is the expert you should consult for checking the quality of your vision and for selecting and ordering the right lenses and vision solutions for your vision needs.
The ophthalmologist, or eye doctor, is the expert to consult for all diseases or changes in your eyes or vision. Ophthalmologists diagnose, treat or operate on medical conditions of the eye. They conduct eye tests and prescribe medication, glasses and other visual devices.
How often should children and adults test their eyes?
Every tenth infant has poor vision. Therefore, parents should ensure that they have their children's sight checked at an early stage. If any abnormalities are noticed, a child's vision can already be tested from the age of two months onwards. As, however, pediatricians cannot diagnose many eye diseases by using these very simple tests, it is recommended to have the child's eyes additionally tested by an ophthalmologist or an optometrist who specializes in children's eyes. Eye care professionals also recommend adults to have their eyes checked every two years because visual problems often develop unnoticed. From the age of 40 onwards they recommend a yearly test to ensure that the reading problems associated with increasing age can be detected at an early stage.
What aspects should you pay special attention to when buying a new pair of glasses?
The optometrist uses the result of the eye test to recommend individually fitted lenses. What is important is that the lenses are optimally matched to the wearer's personal requirements, job and leisure activities. Here, a distinction is made between
- single vision lenses for short- and farsighted wearers,
- progressive lenses for combined short- and farsightedness from the age of 40 onward,
- office lenses designed for relaxed vision in the intermediate and near ranges.
These lens types are available in different materials: glass and plastic. Glass lenses generally have a lower price and are more scratch-resistant, while plastic lenses are lighter and more resistant to breakage. When selecting the material, criteria such as length of wear, the field of application and the price envisioned by the wearer should all be taken into account.
For special requirements, there are various offerings of
- sports lenses for clear vision in indoor and outdoor sporting activities,
- self-tinting lenses that automatically darken in the sun and clear again indoors,
- tinted and untinted sunglass lenses for protecting the eyes against UV light and glare.
Different coatings for the lenses offer further possibilities of adapting the lenses to the personal lifestyle of the wearer: a hard coating,for example, offers protection against scratches and is recommended for children's lenses or softer plastic lenses. An antistatic coating makes it harder for dust and dirt to adhere to the lens and is suitable for wearers who constantly wear their glasses. High tech coatings like DuraVision® Platinum by ZEISS offer all-round protection with a combined antireflective, hard and antistatic coating.
How much care do lenses need?
To ensure clear vision over the long term, lenses must be protected against dirt and scratches. Therefore, wearers should not merely use their sleeve or handkerchief to clean their lenses. The coarse texture of these materials can easily cause damage to the coatings. Dry micro-cloths or moist, micro-fine lens wipes, on the other hand, have been specially designed to meet the requirements of modern lenses.