It's important to keep in mind that most people with open-angle glaucoma, the most common type, have no symptoms until they have lost a significant amount of vision.
The condition can be prevented, but once vision is lost, it is irreversible. That is why it's very important to get regular exams with an eye doctor, particularly if there is a family history of glaucoma.
Symptoms of glaucoma vary, depending on its type.
Eyes with vision problems do not focus light where they should. Eyeglass lenses change the direction of light entering the eyes so that it focuses properly on a special part of the back of the eye known as the retina.
How Often Do You Need a New Prescription for Eyeglasses?
Call your eye doctor for an exam if your vision changes. But you should also expect to have eye exams regularly as an essential part of maintaining healthy vision. This is especially important since your eye doctor also checks for eye diseases and disorders.
The Basics of Eyeglasses
Eyeglasses may be prescribed with lenses providing:
One vision correction for all distances (unifocal)
Correction for both near and distant vision (multifocal: bifocals, trifocals, progressive, or no-line lenses)
Ultraviolet (UV) light protection -- a lens coating to block the sun's damaging and invisible UV rays
Antireflective coating to lessen light reflection off your glasses, reducing daytime glare and the nighttime "starburst" effect around lights
You may want to ask your eye doctor about other lens enhancements, such as:
Photochromatic lenses, which darken in situations where you'd otherwise wear sunglasses and act as "regular" eyeglasses in normal (usually indoor) light
Scratch protection (recommended for plastic lenses)
Tints -- typically cosmetic but also useful for people whose eyes are sensitive to light
Eyeglass frame styles change with fashion. Frames may be made from:
A combination of plastic and metal
"Specialty" metals such as titanium and carbon graphite, both highly damage resistant
Eyeglass alert! Your new eyeglasses should feel -- well, almost as if you aren't wearing them! They shouldn't rub uncomfortably against your ears or nose, fall off easily, or otherwise not feel "right." Of course, allow a reasonable amount of time for getting used to them. However, if problems persist, let your eye doctor know.
Eyeglasses for Different Activities
Some activities may call for wearing special eyeglasses. For example:
Computer work. Especially after age 40, spending long hours staring at a computer screen and focusing the eyes at specific distances may lead to eyestrain. Some eye doctors treat this problem with eyeglasses, prescribing either:
A different prescription for a person who already wears eyeglasses
A prescription for eyeglasses for someone who doesn't otherwise wear them
When indicated, the eye doctor may also recommend treatment for dry eye syndrome. When focusing intently, people tend to blink less and eyes can dry out.