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Eye and Vision Care

Problem with Distant Vision

09/13/2011

Question:

I am 24 years old, healthy male. I am a student pilot.

I noticed that flying towards the airport, I could not spot the runway from the same distance as my instructor. I went to an optometrist who updated my prescription from -0.75 to -1.00. I have not had any flying lessons since my prescription was updated but I think -0.75 to -1.00 will not make a big difference and I will encounter the same problem again. I need something that will allow me to see further in the distance or to see distant objects more clearly.

Would an ophthalmologist be able to modify my prescription to allow me to see further in the distance ? Is there any device that clips on to your eye glasses that can accomplish this ?

Answer:

Since you were noticing difficulty seeing objects from a distance, it suggests that you've had a mild increase in myopia, or nearsightedness. You are correct in that your prescription did change, however, that is the smallest change typically made by an eye care professional.

Some individuals can be quite sensitive to a small amount of blur (even 0.25 diopters, which is the unit of measure), and I suspect that you are one of those individuals. The increase in the prescription should help you see things more clearly from a farther distance, such as the runway from the cockpit.

There are really no other options other than contact lenses or spectacles to help correct your vision. A refractive procedure such as LASIK can correct your vision as well but the result will be comparable to correction with contact lenses or glasses.

My best advice is to try the new glasses prescription to see if it makes a difference. It should.

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Response by:

Aaron  Zimmerman, OD, MS Aaron Zimmerman, OD, MS
Clinical Associate Professor of Optometry
College of Optometry
The Ohio State University