Differentiating Nearsightedness & Farsightedness

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Key Differences Between Nearsightedness & Farsightedness - First Eye Care North Arlington

Refractive Errors Cause Myopia and Hyperopia

Two of the most common vision conditions people experience are nearsightedness and farsightedness. While nearsightedness is more common that farsightedness, the prevalence of these two conditions continues to rise.

Many people dealing with vision issues don’t even seek proper corrective treatment. Part of the reason for this is because many are confused about the differences between these two. Today, First Eye Care North Arlington is here to help you understand the differences between nearsightedness and farsightedness.

How Your Vision Works 

Before you understand what these conditions are, you must first understand how your vision works. Light rays are reflected off of the surface of an object and pass through the cornea of your eye. The cornea, the thin outer layer of the eye, bends the light which allows it to pass through the pupil. The lens and pupil of the eye change shape and size, regulating how much light focuses on the retina.

The retina is found at the back of the eye and contains millions of tiny, light-sensing nerve cells. These cells transform the light rays into electrical impulses. These impulses are sent to the brain through the nervous system to be interpreted.

Both nearsightedness and farsightedness are refractive errors, meaning that the eye has an abnormality that affects its ability to focus light on the retina. Each has a unique abnormality that we will focus on today.

Nearsightedness

Nearsightedness is medically known as myopia. Myopia means that your natural, uncorrected vision allows you to see objects closer to your eyes. However, this means that whenever you look into the distance, objects will appear blurry. This is caused by the length of your eye. The eyeball has grown too long, which causes the light to focus before it reaches your retina. Myopia is typically hereditary or caused by visual stress.

Farsightedness

Farsightedness, or hyperopia, is the opposite of myopia. Those who are farsighted can clearly see objects farther away from them, but objects closer to them often appear blurry. Much like those with nearsightedness, farsightedness is caused because the shape of the eyeball is abnormal. In this case, it is much shorter than it needs to be, causing the light to focus behind the retina instead of directly on it. Farsightedness is typically present at birth and can be hereditary, decreasing as you get older.

Treatment

Fortunately, one of the few similarities these two conditions share is how they are treated. Individuals struggling with either nearsightedness or farsightedness can treat their condition with the use of corrective contact lenses or eyeglasses. The lenses work by changing the way the light rays are refracted into your eyes. These lenses can be used constantly to improve vision full-time or just when they are needed. However, many people have found that their conditions typically stabilize when they reach young adulthood. Once there is no more change in refractive error, many turn to LASIK eye surgery to permanently correct their vision.

Nearsightedness and farsightedness are two common eye conditions that continue to affect millions of people globally. While it can be frustrating to live with, there are many options available to those dealing with them. If you have begun to notice changes in your vision or fear you may have either of these conditions, schedule a comprehensive eye exam at First Eye Care North Arlington. 

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