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Dr. James
Dr. James, Board Certified Ophthalmologist
Category: Eye
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Experience:  Eye Physician and Surgeon
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Our son 24yrs old has been over magnified for a while and

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our son 24yrs old has been over magnified for a while and about 9 months ago he developed distorted vision things are wavy and numbers are not in line what could possibly cause this he has been to 4 optometists and they all say its because of overmagnifacation and they have tried weaker lenses and eye exercises but the problem remains
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Dr. James :

Is the distortion in one eye only or both eyes?
When was the last time his eyes were dilated?


distortion seems to be in both eyes---eyes were dilated in april by a optometist he has not yet seen a opthmalogist yet

Thank you for the reply.

A high glasses prescription can cause image distortion. This is similar to looking at objects through a magnifying glass. Straight lines do not always appear straight because of the curvature of the lens. If this is the case, then contact lenses can minimize the lens distortion because it sits directly on the eye.

Another cause of image distortion is swelling of the retina behind the eye. It is unusual for this to happen in a 24 year old, but more likely in people with a high glasses prescription. This swelling should have been seen with a good dilated eye exam.

If you have any doubt regarding the dilated eye exam, then an exam by an ophthalmologist is preferable. Otherwise, I'd recommend you discuss with his optometrist regarding soft contact lenses or rigid gas permeable contact lenses.

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Customer: replied 7 years ago.
the distortion is there even when he has no contact lenses or glasses on---he has tried soft, hard contacts he was in a 5.0 contact lense in january he had his vision check and his prescription was changed to 4.5 in a different type of contact and that is when all the problem arose--today he is in a 3.75 contact lense he can see ok but he has distortion problem or focusing issues which 4 optomotrist cant fiqure out they all say a opthamalogist probably wont help but we are getting our doubts--he had been in 5.0 contacts for at least 5 yrs and had no problem--
Can you describe hard contact lens he has tried?
How long did he wear those for?
Has he gone back to the original contact lens before everything went bad?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
i was mistaken he has never wore hard contacts .he has been in 4.75 to 3.25 soft contacts since january ---the 5.0 contacts he was wearing orginally--he was told if he continue to wear them his eye sight would continue to get worst--because of over magnification he doesnt know what to do he is very frustrated
Most patients are nearsighted, so I assume your son is nearsighted as well.

A -5.00 prescription versus a -3.25 prescription is a large difference. I agree with his optometrists that he should not wear the higher prescription if he doesn't need it. A -4.75 compared to a -5.00 is not much of a difference. So, it is odd that he has the same problems with the range of contacts he has tried since January (4.75 to 3.25).

As I mentioned in my earlier reply, the most likely cause for his distortion is optical. His prescription is not very high, however. He may have some irregularity on the surface of the eye -- so called irregular astigmatism. A test to look for this irregularity is called a corneal topography. This maps out the surface of the eye to look for high and low points of the cornea similar to a topographic map.

An examination by an ophthalmologist would be helpful to rule out any medical causes. If the ophthalmologist feels it is purely optical, your son can return to the optometrist for a trial of hard contact lenses. The hard shape of the contact lenses smooths out any irregularity of the cornea which may exists.

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Customer: replied 7 years ago.
who would does the corneal topography test
Both an optometrist or ophthalmologist can if they have the machine. The machines are pricey, so more likely an ophthalmologist would have one since he would see more medical problems.
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