The Eyes: Built-In Focusing

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The Eyes: Built-In Focusing
Dr. Phillip L. Carney, Jr.

The eyes, much like a camera, have a built-in focusing system. As objects come closer, the eyes increase their focusing power (called accommodation) to clear the image.  When looking back off in the distance, the focusing relaxes to clear the distant objects.  The accommodating ability of the eyes is measurable.  Optometrists measure this ability by having the person hold a small chart with a 20/20 size row of letters and bring it close to the eyes until the chart blurs.  The distance is measured and the focusing power of the eyes is determined.

The focusing power of the eyes decreases ever so slightly each year we age.  Most notice this decrease near age 40 and beyond, as near objects (especially small print) become more difficult to bring into focus.  In fact, most people notice this as they hold print farther away actually, which makes it easier to see since it requires less focusing of the eyes.  So far, researchers have not been able to find a way to slow or stop this aging process of the eyes.  That is why most everyone over age 40 tend to need some kind of vision correction.

Dr. Carney is available for all your eye care needs by appointment at Welch/Wallace Laser Center by calling (318) 448-0221.