November 2020: Peter's Vision
THIS month I’ve had a little more time to read than I usually do. It’s been interesting, and some of the things I've shared from my reading has certainly raised a few eyebrows in our house!
The first 'magic' I read about is an eye drop that you can take, that claims to help your eyes focus up close, even past middle age (no quips please - it’s approaching some of us all too fast).
The idea is that the drops help stop the impact of the natural firming of the eye’s lens that would normally make seeing close up a bit trickier as the years tick by. Now this process has been happening since man first walked the earth, so it’s a perfectly normal human (ageing) process that starts to have an impact for most of us anywhere from our 40’s to our 50’s.
The clever thing about these drops, and yes I’m still going on about them, is that they make our pupils smaller, giving a pinhole effect. Now if you’ve ever tried to make a pinhole camera you will know that making light focus through a smaller gap keeps it in better focus. This sounds amazing right! Let’s all take the drops now eh?
Before we get carried away though I should say that these drops are not new to us eye specialists. We’ve used these in our clinics for years to treat a rapid onset type of glaucoma - a condition that can rob you of your vision. Sounds great I hear you say, drops that mean we don’t need reading glasses and we don’t get glaucoma either. Give them to us all now! However, as with all magic, there is surely more than meets the eye.
In this case, these drops achieve better near focus by making a muscle in the eye tight, and like any muscle tightening it can ache after a while. In fact sometimes the ache can induce a persistent dull headache or even a migraine, perhaps an acceptable side effect if the alternative is dramatic loss of vision from glaucoma, but is it worth it to just reduce the need for reading glasses? No doubt you will all have an opinion on this, and it may well be “give me the drops!”
I read with interest a quote from a leading London eye surgeon who said “as these drops can cause headache and eye ache, as well as stopping you seeing clearly for driving at night, why not just wear glasses for reading which are safe and effective”. Let the discussion roll on eh!
In the meantime, as these drops are not available, perhaps we’ll just keep wearing glasses to help roll back the years and keep our eyes feeling young. Our MAXX glasses are designed for just this reason, we can see clearly far and close, and stay looking young too!
You & your loved ones are most welcome to come and see us whatever your eye care needs. Whether you wear glasses for near, far or both, our expert team is ready & waiting to help you! We just ask that you telephone first to book a time to come in, to help us keep you all safe. Please call our Henleaze practice on 0117 962 2474 or our Fishponds practice on 0117 965 4434.
We look forward to seeing you soon!
Peter Turner is a Senior Optometrist at Turners Opticians in Bristol who also works part time as a Senior Optometrist at the Bristol Eye Hospital.