What is the difference between Nearsightedness (Myopia) and Farsightedness (Hyperopia)
In order to see properly, the front surface of our eyes, the cornea, needs to correctly focus light into the back of the eyes called the retina, where our vision receptors are located. This process is called refraction, and when done incorrectly, the “refractive error” will result in blurriness in vision. Both nearsightedness and farsightedness are types of refractive errors that indicate whether an individual can see clearly up close or at the distance.
Nearsightedness, as the name implies, is a condition where an individual sees nearby objects well but has difficulty seeing in the distance. Nearsightedness is synonymous with myopia. It is a type of refractive error where light is focused in front of the retina, causing blurriness in distance vision. There are two main reasons behind this condition. One is that the eyeball has grown too long, and the cornea is not strong enough to focus the light farther into the eye. Another reason is that the cornea is too curved, and therefore too strong, and focuses the light into the eye sooner than it is supposed to. Myopia can occur at any age.
Farsightedness, also called hyperopia, is a condition where an individual sees fine in the distance but has trouble reading or seeing objects up close. It occurs when light is not focused enough and is focused behind the retina instead. This could be a result of eyeballs that are too short or a cornea that is too flat and therefore, not strong enough to focus light where it needs to. Individuals with hyperopia will experience eye fatigue, headaches and discomfort when looking at near objects, due to the additional demand placed on their eyes to increase their ability to focus.
Both myopia and hyperopia are refractive errors that are typically corrected with glasses and/or contact lenses. These corrective aids are used to support the eyes, with the goal of focusing light directly on the retina and therefore eliminating blurriness in the near, if it is hyperopia, and the distance, if the individual has myopia. If an individual experiences blurriness in both near and distance, multifocal glasses and contact lenses are available to aid in the ability to see objects at various distances. Refractive surgery is also another option when trying to correct these refractive errors.
It is best to see your optometrist when experiencing blurry vision to determine the root cause of your symptoms, as these vision problems may or may not be due to refractive errors such as myopia or hyperopia. Annual eye exams are vital in ensuring that you are seeing the world as you should be. If you were determined to have refractive errors in your vision, your optometrist will be able to suggest the type of refractive correction that best suit your lifestyle. If you have any questions about near- or farsightedness or are experiencing any problems with your vision, feel free to contact Eyedeology at 587-353-5061 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org