The Difference Between Nearsightedness And Farsightedness?

Vision terms sound easy but can be a bit confusing, take the two basic terms of nearsightedness and farsightedness for example. We hear them all the time but what do they really mean? Thanks to a great explanation from Beth Longware Duff we have the answer.

Nearsightedness and farsightedness are two very common — and very different — types of vision conditions. Both are refractive errors, or abnormalities of the eye that affect its ability to focus light on the retina.

The medical term for nearsightedness is myopia. This occurs when light entering the eye does not focus properly on the retina, the membrane that lines the back of the eyeball. Instead, the light falls short — usually because the eyeball has grown too long. As a result, distant objects appear blurry. Close-up vision, on the other hand, is not affected.

Farsightedness, or hyperopia, is somewhat the opposite of nearsightedness. It usually is caused by an eyeball that’s too short, which causes light to come to a focus behind the retina instead of directly on it.

Typically, farsightedness makes close objects appear to be out of focus, while distant objects remain clear. But high amounts of hyperopia may cause objects at all distances to be blurry.

Mild cases of farsightedness might not affect vision at all but cause headaches when reading or doing other close work.

Interestingly, children usually are born farsighted. In most cases, this early childhood hyperopia decreases as the eyeball lengthens with normal growth and development.

Nearsightedness, however, usually develops during childhood, worsens during adolescence and stabilizes during young adulthood.

Come to Schmidt’s Optical and Hearing™ in Stuart Florida and put our well trained opticians to the test with all of your optical questions and get the answers you need while finding your perfect pair of glasses.

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