610-628-2022 [email protected]

Drops or reading glasses?

Woman reading paper

Most everyone has heard of nearsightedness and farsightedness, but, presbyopia isn’t quite as familiar to most people.

Remember nearsighted is when you can’t see in the distance. And, farsighted is when you can’t see up close. Both of these problems are due to the incorrect length of your eye so the image doesn’t land in the correct spot on your retina.

Presbyopia starts when you are about 40 years old.  It is when you have difficulty seeing up close.  What makes it different than farsightedness is the reason for the problem. Presbyopia is because the lens of your eye can no longer focus enough to place the images on the correct spot  of your retina.

Presbyopia develops because of the process of aging. Think of it as farsightedness brought on by aging. The root of the word “presbyopia” actually means “old eyes” in Greek. Everyone gets presbyopia. You can circumvent the need for glasses to focus up close, if you’re nearsighted.  Taking off your glasses “resets” your eyes to near and you don’t need to focus.

Refractive surgery such as LASIK effectively corrects nearsightedness and farsightedness by reshaping the cornea.  It does not treat the lens, and in turn doesn’t correct presbyopia. LASIK surgery can help presbyopia vision by leaving a small amount of nearsightedness, similar to the trick of a nearsighted person taking off their glasses to read.

Eye drops instead of reading glasses?

Recently two kinds of eye drops are being tested to enter the market to help presbyopia. If these drops pass clinical trials patients may be reaching for drops instead of reading glasses. As with any type of treatment or medication there are pluses and minuses.  Not needing glasses to read is the obvious plus.

The first type of drop being tested is called a miotic drop. It makes the size of the pupil smaller creating a “pinhole effect.” This effect limits the out-of-focus light entering the eye, making both near and far things clearer. Headaches, limited night vision and a decrease in contrast have been reported as side effects. The drops take effect  30 minutes after administration and last four to seven hours.

The second type of drop softens the lens of the eye. As the lens becomes more flexible, as it was in the younger eye, it becomes easier to focus up close again. The drop won’t return the lens back to its peak at eighteen years of age, but it will turn the clock back ten years. The drops must be taken over a period of days or weeks to achieve results.

We’ll keep you posted

Neither of these drops are available to the general public at this time. Neither drop appear to be the “magic bullet”  in treating presbyopia. Your eye doctor will likely need to determine which, if  any, is correct for you.

Read more about LASIK & Presbyopia  

 

 

 

Your Pharmacist – A Great Resource

Pharmacist and prescription medications

Talk to your pharmacist…you’ll be glad you did!

Have you spoken to your pharmacist lately?  We know that prescription medications can be expensive. Your pharmacist can help you manage your medications, and may be able to help you find savings on your prescriptions.

Make friends with your pharmacist.

Your pharmacist is an essential part of your healthcare team.  They may be aware of resources that can save you money, all you have to do is ask!  Ask if you can speak with your pharmacist, they are happy to take a few minutes to review your medications.  Most pharmacies have a private place for patient consultations.

Discount PROGRAMS.

Your pharmacist might be aware of discount programs that can save you money.  They have a complete list of your medications, so they can can review the list with you.  Talk to the pharmacy staff to see if there are any discount plans or strategies that might help you save some money.

ASK YOUR DOCTOR.

Ask your doctor if you there is a generic version of the medication.  Generics are less expensive, and have the same active ingredients as the brand-name medications.

We want you to stay on track with the medications that are prescribed for you.  The first step toward that goal is making sure that you get the medications that you need to stay healthy.

We know that an informed patient makes the best healthcare decisions, so make sure ask questions!  You can benefit from relationships with every member of your healthcare team.