How does it work?
If your eyes are less than perfect, it’s likely that you suffer from one of the following:
- Myopia (short-sightedness)
- Hyperopic (long-sightedness) or
All three mean that the cornea of your eye is warped or misshapen in some way. If you are short sighted you struggle with objects that are further away, because the image becomes focused in front of the retina. If you are long sighted you struggle with objects that are nearer, as the image becomes too focused behind the retina.
When it comes to astigmatism, the cornea is an uneven shape and it bends the light in different directions. This can distort what a person sees and make objects appear blurry. The good news, though, is that all three can be easily treated with a pair of specially prescribed glasses so you will be able to view the world with a clearer and crisper perspective.
Here comes the science bit. Let’s start with the basics - how our eyes work. When you look at an object, the light reflected from the object passes through your cornea (this is what allows light to flow through the pupil) and lens (this is the bit that receives light). The object is then inverted, or turned upside down, and displayed on the retina.
Once done, that visual information is sent to the brain, telling you what the object is. As the lens opens and flattens, a normal eye with perfect vision will see objects in the distance. When it comes to closer objects, the lens does the opposite, relaxing, shrinking, and becoming convex. The lens then bends the light sharply, allowing you to see objects that are nearer.
But for those that need glasses the light does not hit the correct spot on the retina and instead produces a blurry image. Glasses work by bending the light to allow the eye to focus on the right spot, to produce the clearest image.
For nearsightedness, glasses correct the problem of the eyeball being too long to focus upon a far away image that is projected onto the retina. They do this by offering a concave lens that bends light rays outwards and makes the eyeball normal again.
In individuals that suffer from farsightedness, the eyeball is too short to focus upon objects that are near, so the glasses use a convex lens that bends the light inward before it reaches the eye's lens and therefore corrects vision.
Is it for me?
If you struggle with your sight then glasses are for you, whatever your age. Remember that everyone’s eyesight is different; a pair of glasses that makes everything crisper and clearer for one individual may look blurry to another person, so always remember to visit a optician to receive your own set of glasses. Once there you will have an eye examination to assess whether you need glasses, and if you do, you will receive a prescription especially tailored to your individual eye needs.
Good to know
Glasses were first invented by Salvino D’Armate in 1284 in Italy but the earliest picture of someone wearing glasses is Tomaso de Modena’s 1352 portrait of the cardinal Hugh de Provence.