For an estimated 10% of the population, there exists an asymmetry between the eyes, resulting in one eye needing a stronger glasses prescription than the other. Finding the right prescription in these cases is typically not overly challenging – however, ensuring your patients are comfortable wearing the glasses you’ve prescribed can be an entirely different matter.
How Different Kinds of Glasses Affect You
The reason asymmetrical glasses prescriptions can be so difficult to tolerate lies in the fact that different glasses’ strengths create different image sizes on our retina. In many cases, this can mean the world is much larger, or smaller when you compare your eyes one at a time. If you’re a glasses wearer, give it a try – take a look at these words one eye at a time and ask yourself, does the image in one eye look bigger than the other?
The functional impact of this asymmetry is that wearing glasses often never feels quite right. Headaches, dizziness, turning of the head, closing an eye, wearing your glasses either too high up or too far down your nose – these all can be signs that your brain is having trouble compensating for the differences in image size.
How New Innovations Are Helping Improve the Comfort of Wearing Glasses
Fortunately for those who struggle with this asymmetry, new advancements in optical technology now exist that can balance the size of the world, and thus greatly improve the comfort of your glasses. This elegant solution lies in a manipulation of the lens curvature and thickness, such that the resultant images become equal between the eyes without sacrificing clarity. Much like with contact lens wear, even if one prescription is much higher than the other, the brain will no longer perceive a discrepancy in size.
What are technically termed “iseikonic lenses” can make a world of difference for children with amblyopia (“lazy eye”) or adults who either have long-standing prescription differences or those brought on by eye injury or disease. Additionally, if you’re someone who much prefers contact lens wear to glasses – you may find that transitioning to an iseikonic lens drastically improves your glasses wearing experience.
To learn more about iseikonic lenses, and to gauge whether you or a loved one would be a good candidate, feel free to give us a call. We’re always happy to help!
Until next month,
Paul Rollett, OD, FCOVD