Understanding the Differences Between Nearsightedness and Farsightedness
We see many patients at Invision Eyecare experiencing vision problems, including nearsightedness and farsightedness. While these conditions may seem similar, they are actually quite different in their causes and symptoms.
Nearsightedness, also known as myopia, is a condition where a person has difficulty seeing objects that are far away. This happens because the eye is too long or the cornea is too curved, which causes light to focus in front of the retina instead of on it. This can make objects in the distance appear blurry or out of focus.
Farsightedness, also known as hyperopia, is a condition where a person has difficulty seeing objects that are close up. This happens because the eye is too short or the cornea is too flat, which causes light to focus behind the retina instead of on it. This can make objects up close appear blurry or out of focus.
Both of these conditions can be hereditary, meaning they can be passed down from parents to their children. However, environmental factors such as excessive screen time or poor lighting conditions can also contribute to the development of these conditions over time.
The symptoms of nearsightedness and farsightedness can vary, with nearsightedness often causing difficulty seeing objects far away and farsightedness causing difficulty seeing objects up close. However, both conditions can also cause symptoms such as eye strain, headaches, and blurred vision.
How to fix Nearsightedness and Farsightedness?
One of the most common ways to correct nearsightedness and farsightedness is through the use of corrective lenses, such as eyeglasses or contact lenses. These lenses are designed to bend the light entering the eye in a way that compensates for the shape of the eye, allowing for clear vision.
For nearsightedness, corrective lenses are concave, meaning they are thinner at the center and thicker at the edges. This shape helps to diverge the light rays, which counteracts the eye's tendency to focus too strongly on objects in the distance. For farsightedness, corrective lenses are convex, meaning they are thicker at the center and thinner at the edges. This shape helps to converge the light rays, which counteracts the eye's tendency to focus too strongly on objects that are close up.
In addition to corrective lenses, there are also surgical options available for correcting nearsightedness and farsightedness. Refractive surgery, such as LASIK or PRK, uses a laser to reshape the cornea and correct the way that light enters the eye, allowing for clear vision without the need for corrective lenses. This option is more common for people with moderate to severe nearsightedness or farsightedness.
Orthokeratology, or Ortho-K, is a non-surgical option for correcting nearsightedness. This involves wearing specialized contact lenses overnight, which temporarily reshape the cornea and allow for clear vision during the day without needing corrective lenses. However, this option may not be suitable for all individuals, and the results are temporary and require continued use of the lenses.
It is important to note that while corrective lenses and refractive surgery can be effective treatments for nearsightedness and farsightedness, they do not address the underlying causes of these conditions. In some cases, lifestyle changes such as reducing screen time, taking frequent breaks to rest the eyes, and getting regular eye exams may help prevent vision problems from developing or worsening.
What steps should I take to protect my eyes?
At Invision Eyecare, we recommend that patients with nearsightedness or farsightedness take steps to protect their vision and prevent further deterioration. This can include wearing protective eyewear during sports and other activities that pose a risk of eye injury. Additionally, I advise patients to practice good eye hygiene by washing their hands frequently, avoiding touching their eyes, and keeping their contact lenses clean and well-maintained.
For those who spend a lot of time on electronic devices, we suggest taking frequent breaks to rest the eyes and practicing the 20-20-20 rule, which involves looking away from the screen every 20 minutes and focusing on an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds. It also may be worth investing in blue light blocking lenses to help protect your vision.
By following these tips, patients with nearsightedness or farsightedness can help preserve their vision and maintain healthy eyes for years to come.
We’re here to offer more insight!
That's a lot to take in!
If you feel you may be experiencing either of these conditions, it is important to schedule an appointment with an eye care professional for a comprehensive eye exam.
During this exam, we can determine the extent of your nearsightedness or farsightedness and develop a personalized treatment plan to address your unique needs. Remember, regular eye exams are crucial for maintaining good eye health and can help detect and address vision problems before they become more serious.