Why do I see better when I squint?

20 Jan 2014

Squinting is an instinctive reaction by your eyes to bright light, by trying to reduce the amount of light suddenly entering the eye.


However, if you find yourself squinting in order to see objects clearly, then it may be a sign of a refractive error, or perhaps a symptom of presbyopia if you are over forty.


When you squint, the limited light rays that do enter the eye, pass close enough to the centre of the lens so that a clearer, more focused image is created. The problem is that squinting can cause unnecessary strain on the eyes and contribute to the formation of crow’s feet and other deep lines.

Accommodative power of the eye

The eye adjusts its focal length automatically in response to how close or how far away an object is by changing the shape of the crystalline lens, a process that is known as accommodation.


The crystalline lens is a soft, flexible layer of the eye that is controlled by cillary muscles that are attached to it. Both the lens and the cillary muscles work together to change the shape of the lens to reposition light onto the back of the eye so images appear clear.

Do I need glasses if I am constantly squinting?

If you are over forty and have never needed glasses, then it is unlikely that you have developed a refractive error.


Refractive errors are caused by an irregularity in the shape of a person’s cornea which causes light to be focused incorrectly on the back of the eye. They usually become apparent during childhood or adolescence.


Presbyopia is not a refractive error, but merely a telltale sign that your eyes are getting old and can’t work as well as they did previously.


The condition is recognized by the steady decline of near vision, because the cillary muscles and lens cannot work as well to create a shorter focal length.


Reading glasses tend to be the default solution to Presbyopia, but there are two minimally invasive procedures available at Optilase to treat the condition effectively.


KAMRA and PRESBIA both involve the insertion of a tiny lens into the non-dominant eye that is used for restore the eye’s accommodative power for near vision.


For more information on either KAMRA or PRESBIA, book your free consultation on +353 1 223 8821 or visit www.optilase.com/reading-glasses/

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