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What's the Difference Between Nearsightedness and Farsightedness?

By Essilor News

Nearsighted and farsighted individuals have opposite problems when it comes to vision. When you're nearsighted, your ability to see is better if an object is very close. For instance, reading a book is easy but reading a road sign isn't. If you're farsighted, you see really well when an object is at a great distance, which explains why you might need reading glasses but are cleared to drive without them.

What correction is needed for nearsighted or farsighted individuals?

Nearsighted

People who have nearsightedness (also known as myopia) can see close-up objects clearly while distant objects appear blurry. Nearsightedness occurs when the eyeball is too long, causing light rays to achieve a point of focus before they reach the retina.

People with nearsightedness might need eyeglasses, contacts, or corrective surgery, depending on their lifestyle, the driving rules in their state, and their occupation. How often they wear glasses may vary based on the severity of their condition. For example, some people might need glasses for driving, but can watch TV, go to the movies, and do everything else fine without them. Others might barely be able to see objects 10 feet away.

Farsighted

People who have farsightedness (also known as hyperopia) have the opposite condition—close objects appear out of focus while distant objects are clear. Farsightedness occurs when the eyeball is too short, causing light rays to reach a point of focus beyond the retina.

Farsightedness can also be treated by eyeglasses, contacts, or corrective surgery. Some people might need to wear glasses and contacts all the time while others might only need them for reading, working on a computer, or up-close tasks like sewing.

Myopia and hyperopia treatment

Glasses and contacts change the way light rays bend into the eyes while surgery reshapes the cornea so light focuses on the retina. When it comes to eyeglasses, getting the right prescription is a must. Wearing glasses with the wrong prescription can cause headaches, dizziness, and possibly nausea.

It's possible to have some degree of nearsightedness and farsightedness together. Fortunately, the same corrective measures are available. It's important to get a comprehensive eye exam annually, not only to keep a prescription up to date, but to screen for eye conditions and take proper preventative or treatment measures.

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