Optegra Eye Hospital

Optegra Eye Hospital

September 04, 2013 07:24 ET

Are Your Eyes Too Big for You?

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwired - Sept. 4, 2013) - Big eyes are often deemed a stunning feature and natural mark of beauty, but surgeons state that in fact big eyes could be just too big and as a result can damage your vision.

While 43% of women in a new survey by Optegra(i) believe bigger than average eyes are the most beautiful, leading ophthalmic surgeon at Optegra specialist eye hospital group, Andy Luff, states that the bigger your eyes, the more short-sighted you will be.

As cases of short-sightedness (called myopia) are on the increase(ii) Mr Luff is highlighting that while genetics play their part, childhood environment and experiences may affect the size of your eyes(iii).

Mr Luff explains: "While big eyes can certainly look beautiful, the fact is that if your eyes are slightly too big - and of course, we can only see a small part of the eye ball - this will cause you to suffer short sight(iv). This is because if the eye ball is too big the light focused by the lens system of the eye does not reach the back wall, known as the retina, where images are processed."

Optegra's research backs up his expertise, as the new survey(v) reveals that 46% of Brits are short-sighted, and almost one in five of those women (17%) either describe their eyes as being big, or have other people describe them in that way.

Yet we strive after big eyes, with 38% of Brits believing bigger than average eyes are the most beautiful and an overwhelming 79% of women wearing make-up to enhance the size of their eyes and/or draw attention to them.

And while big eyes are often a genetic feature - just as height, red hair or a strong jaw can be - we can also affect the size of our eyes.

Mr Luff states: "Not only can we inherit eyes that are larger than they should be, but in the early years of our life when eyes are developing, if we do not allow ourselves access to enough natural daylight, this can also cause our eyes to grow larger(vi).

"It seems that children living in tower blocks, where access to natural light may not be easy, forces their eyes to grow too much and can lead to tremendous problems with short-sight. In parts of Asia the incidence of short sightedness is increasing at an alarming rate."

So it is no myth that reading under bed sheets might damage your vision. A childhood sneakily reading late into the night without proper light, may lead to adulthood dependent on spectacles.

The new study highlights that six in 10 (60%) Brits admit to reading under bedclothes as children, while 43% of Brits still do not have sufficient light every time they read.

And the challenges on vision have changed over the years. While 62% of over 55s used to read in the dark, now 40% of 16-24 year olds admit to spending their childhood indoors on the TV and computer rather than enjoying natural daylight outdoors.

So what can be done about big eyes and short sight?

Mr Luff explains that there are, thankfully, a variety of vision correction options available to people with poor vision, whether they are short or long sighted. He says:

"While we cannot physically change the size of your eye ball, we can correct your vision through a number of options. Laser eye surgery is suitable for correcting younger eyes and it uses a laser to reshape the cornea of the eye to change its focusing power and improve your sight.

"For those who are slightly older, a permanent lens replacement would be a more suitable solution. Clarivu™ is a procedure which replaces the eye's natural lens with a technically advanced intraocular lens. It only takes around 20 minutes and can transform lives by freeing people from glasses or contact lenses. Also, following this procedure, cataracts cannot develop."

And to give our vision the best chance, Mr Luff has this advice: "As eyes keep growing until we are around 20 years old, to give them the best chance to grow to the ideal size, it is essential to have plenty of natural daylight, and also to do some long-distance vision exercises. Simply pausing from our books, iPads or laptops every 20 minutes, to focus 20 metres away for 20 seconds, can help your eye develop in the correct way."

Optegra is a specialist provider of ophthalmic services in the UK, Czech Republic, Poland and Germany. Optegra operates 23 eye hospitals and brings together leading edge research and medical expertise, state-of-the-art surgical equipment and top ophthalmic surgeons renowned for their areas of expertise to offer the best clinical outcomes in laser vision correction, Clarivu (refractive lens exchange), cataract removal, AMD, vitreoretinal and oculoplastics procedures all carried out in 5-star patient facilities.

About Optegra

Optegra is committed to the development of eye sciences and championing the latest innovations in vision correction through its dedicated Eye Sciences Division. Optegra achieves this by partnering with leading UK universities in the research and development of the next generation of ophthalmic services and technologies.

In addition, its Professional Partnership Programme of education and development with optometrists and opticians ensures the very best medical treatments are available to all.

To maintain Optegra's five star standard of patient care and safety, its specialist eye hospitals draw on the expertise of its Medical Advisory Committees (MAC), headed by consultant level ophthalmic surgeons who all report into the corporate MAC. This is managed by Medical Director Mr Robert Morris, the renowned refractive expert who determines Optegra's policies and procedures.

Optegra operates six UK eye hospitals: Optegra Eye Hospital, London; Optegra Surrey Eye Hospital (Guildford); Optegra Birmingham Eye Hospital (Aston); Optegra Yorkshire Eye Hospital (Apperley Bridge and Laser Eye Centre in Leeds City Centre); Optegra Solent Eye Hospital (Whiteley) and Optegra Manchester Eye Hospital, (Didsbury).

(i) Research carried out by TNS Global for Optegra; PR Bus OnlineBus Survey from 23-25 July 2013. A sample of 1,028 British adults aged 16-64 were interviewed.

(ii) Sivak, Jacob 'The causes of myopia and the efforts that have been made to prevent it.' Clinical and Experimental Optometry 2012

(iii) Leary GA. The reconciliation of genetically determined myopia with environmentally induced myopia. Am J Optom Arch Am Acad Optom 1970; 47:702-709

(iv) Logan, Nicola S 'Myopia: Development and Control in Children' Optometry in Practice Vol 6 (2005) 149-162

(v) Research carried out by TNS Global for Optegra; PR Bus OnlineBus Survey from 23-25 July 2013. A sample of 1,028 British adults aged 16+ were interviewed.

(vi) Rose KA, Morgan IG, Ip J et al. Outdoor activity reduces the prevalence of myopia in children. Ophthalmology 2008; 115: 1279-1285

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