Glare is the difficulty seeing in the presence of bright light, such as direct or reflected sunlight, or artificial light such as that of car headlamps at night. An excessive amount of glare prevents the task from being completed well and will also lead to eyestrain.
Glare may increase as we age. There are several causes of this:
Cataract is the opacity in the natural lens of the eye. When we are young, the lens is clear but this lens will slowly opacify over the years and block our view. The uneven opacification of the lens will distort the light rays entering the eye and cause an increase in glare.
(2) Dry eyes
The presenting symptom of dry eyes is not usually glare – symptoms of dry eyes include itchy, scratchy or burning sensations in the eyes. However, dry eyes will cause our tear film (the layer of tears at the front of our eyes) to be uneven. This will then distort the light entering our eyes.
Dry eyes occur commonly in people who are more senior. Should you experience symptoms of dry eyes, please lubricate your eyes with lubricant eye drops.
(3) Change in refractive error (spectacle power)
A change in refractive error is as common in adults as it is in children. But when it does increase and we are not wearing prescriptive glasses of the correct power, the focus is poor and can lead to more glare.
If you experience an increase in glare over the years, please see your optometrist to check on your eyes. A simple change in prescription to the appropriate pair of glasses or sunglasses may be all that is needed. If these measures do not help, the next step is to visit your eye doctor (ophthalmologist) to rule out other conditions.
I made a post on Unbelievable 3D drawings back in 2011. I still get fascinated by the ablity of these artists in creating 3 dimensional perspective on a 2 dimensional plane.
Here are some more pics that I came across on the internet…
Wish I could draw like that.
This post is an add-on to my earlier post entitled: “Can I wear cosmetic contact lenses after LASIK?“
I have several patients asking me if it is true that a person is allowed to wear contact lenses after Epi-LASIK since there is no cornea flap but not allowed to wear if they had LASIK done as there is a cornea flap.
In my earlier blog post, I mentioned that the answer is: “It depends”. This is the same for both LASIK and Epi-LASIK.
It depends on 2 main factors:
(1) Cornea curvature before treatment
(2) Amount of myopia (short-sightedness) treated
These 2 numbers will tell the doctor if you can still wear contact lenses after LASIK or Epi-LASIK. Your cornea will be less curved after LASIK and Epi-LASIK, if it is flatter than the lenses available from your optical shop, the lens will fit poorly on your eye and you will find it rather uncomfortable. Therefore you will need to custom make a contact lens to sit nicely on your flat cornea. This will cost quite a fair bit.
Now back to the topic on whether the cornea flap creates an issue:
Some people think the answer is no because the lens may damage the cornea flap. This is true if the person were to use the lens in the first week and remove the lens by pinching too hard on the cornea. I would suggest not to use cosmetic contact lenses in the first month after LASIK so as to reduce the chance of injuring the cornea flap. Having said this, I use a medical grade contact lens to protect the cornea flap in some cases in the first 24 hours. This lens is placed in very gently and also removed very gently with a sterile instrument at the slit lamp.
The same is true for Epi-LASIK. I would leave a contact lens in the eye for the first 4 to 5 days after the procedure to protect the cornea. This lens is removed very gently with the aid of a sterile instrument. I would not recommend the patient to put a lens into his/her eye and remove it with his/her fingers in the first month. This is because the surface of the cornea is fragile during this time period (especially in the first 1 to 2 weeks) and the surface cells (epithelium) of the cornea can be torn off by a hard pinching action on the cornea.
For more information regarding dos and don’ts after LASIK, please check out my other posts:
Here are 2 very frequently asked questions:
(1) I have been told it is better to under-correct my spectacle (or contact lens) power in order to prevent my short-sightedness from increasing. True?
(2) Can my vision get worse if I use under-correct spectacles (or contact lenses)?
Here is the answer:
Using under-corrected spectacles or contact lenses will not stop your short-sightedness (myopia) from increasing. The best way to prevent the increase or slow the increase of your myopia is to have good eye care habits. In fact, there are 2 studies which show that wearing a lower power than what you need can actually cause an increase in myopia:
Here is where you can learn more about good eye care habits to reduce the progression of myopia:
So, it is a good idea to wear spectacles and contact lenses that give you good vision. This is especially important for children younger than 8 years old. This is the time when the brain and visual system is still developing. If the eyes and brain gets used to blurred vision by the use of under-corrected spectacles, this leads to the development of amblyopia (lazy eyes), that is, the eyes cannot see well not matter what power of spectacles you use as an adult.
I still come across quite a few people who are not sure if astigmatism can be treated by LASIK.
What is Astigmatism?
This focusing problem of the eye is usually due to an uneven cornea. Cornea is the front layer of the eye, the transparent curved portion that you can see when you look into the mirror.
Think of a soccer ball, cut this in half, all the meridians of this ball have the same curvature… so there is no astigmatism.
Now think of a rugby ball, cut this ball in half, one surface is more curved than the other. This is like a cornea with astigmatism.
Check out this animation on the Shinagawa website to learn more about astigmatism.
LASIK can treat astigmatism. LASIK works by reshaping the cornea. The laser will laser more in one meridian of the cornea than in the other meridian in order to change the rugby ball shape into more of a soccer ball shape. Most lasers can treat up to 600 degrees (6 diopters) of astigmatism. Learn more about LASIK from this site.
Here are 3 commonly asked questions I get regarding pregnancy and LASIK.
(1) I am currently pregnant, can I have LASIK done?
Pregnancy causes fluid changes in the body. In the later stages of pregnancy, the feet gets swollen and for some women, their cornea of the eyes also gets swollen. It is less accurate to laser a swollen cornea. Threfore, I would advise ladies to wait till 3 months after their pregnancy before having LASIK.
(2) I am still breast-feeding, can I have LASIK done?
There are still fluid changes in the body during breast-feeding. So for the same reason above, I would suggest to wait till 3 months after you have stopped breast-feeding before having LASIK. However, I have gone ahead to perform LASIK for ladies who have breast-fed for many many months and their swelling of their feet and fingers have all subsided.
(3) When can I plan to get pregnant after my LASIK surgery? or When can I make love after my LASIK surgery?
You can immediately plan to get pregnant after LASIK. Fluid changes in the body do not occur until the later stages of pregnancy. This also means you can make love anytime you like after LASIK, just be sure you do not injure your eyes, especially in the first 24 to 48 hours when the cornea flap is still fragile.