Impaired vision is a very widespread condition in Switzerland. One of the commonest visual defects is short-sightedness. This is usually caused by incorrect growth of the eye: a short-sighted person's eyes are almost always slightly elongated. As a result of this incorrect development, the focal point of the eye is in front of the retina, so that light is concentrated at the wrong point.
This incorrect focus means that objects that are further away from the eye are perceived as blurred and so often cannot be distinguished properly. Major displacements of the focal point may severely impair vision, and must be corrected with treatment.
Traditional means such as glasses or contact lenses use diverging lenses to shift the focus back onto the retina. This is usually successful, but usually means that people affected by the condition have to use an aid to vision throughout their lives, which can be irksome and to some extent limiting.
Fortunately, other methods have now been developed to treat short-sightedness or other visual defects. The most significant of these is laser treatment, which permanently corrects the focal point, so that in most cases glasses or contact lenses are no longer needed.
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