Nearsightedness, also known as myopia, is a condition where objects that are far away appear blurry, while objects that are closer appear clearer. This occurs because the eyeball is too long or the cornea is too curved, which causes light to focus in front of the retina instead of directly on it.
Farsightedness, also known as hyperopia, is a condition where objects that are up close appear blurry, while objects that are far away appear clear. This occurs when the eyeball is too short or the cornea is too flat, which causes light to focus behind the retina instead of directly on it.
How does myopia (nearsightedness) impact your child in the classroom or while engaging in sports? Use our myopia simulator to see how your myopic child may see the world around them and better understand how that is impacting their success.
Here are some of the most common symptoms associated with nearsightedness and farsightedness:
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it's important to schedule an appointment with your optometrist as soon as possible. A comprehensive eye exam can help diagnose nearsightedness or farsightedness and allow our optometrist to prescribe corrective lenses or other treatment options to help improve your vision.
While these two conditions are different, they both involve an issue with the way light is refracted in the eye. Here are some of the common causes of nearsightedness and farsightedness:
Genetics: Both nearsightedness and farsightedness can run in families, and individuals with a family history of the condition are at a higher risk of developing it.
Eye shape: An elongated or shorter eyeball, or a cornea that is too curved or flat, can cause light to focus improperly and result in vision problems.
Environmental factors: Spending excessive time doing close-up work, such as reading or using a computer, can put a strain on the eyes and increase the likelihood of developing nearsightedness.
Age: As we age, the lens in our eye can become less flexible, making it more difficult to focus on close-up objects in the case of farsightedness.
Health conditions: Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, can increase the risk of developing nearsightedness, while conditions such as diabetes or multiple sclerosis can increase the risk of developing farsightedness.
It is important to note that while these factors can increase the likelihood of developing nearsightedness or farsightedness, they do not necessarily guarantee that someone will develop the condition. Some people may develop these refractive errors for no apparent reason, while others may avoid them despite having several risk factors.
Here is how we diagnose nearsightedness and farsightedness at Amplify EyeCare:
Symptoms: The first step in diagnosing nearsightedness or farsightedness is to identify the symptoms that the patient is experiencing. These may include blurry vision, difficulty seeing objects at a distance or up close, headaches, or eye strain.
Visual acuity test: One of the most common diagnostic tools used to diagnose nearsightedness and farsightedness is the visual acuity test. During this test, the patient reads a series of letters or numbers on an eye chart from a set distance away. This test can help determine the clarity of the patient's vision at different distances.
Refraction test: Another important diagnostic tool for nearsightedness and farsightedness is the refraction test. During this test, we use a special instrument called a phoropter to measure the patient's refractive error. This involves asking the patient to look through a series of lenses while reading an eye chart to determine the lens strength needed to correct their vision.
Eye exam: In addition to these tests, we will also perform a comprehensive eye exam to check for any other eye conditions or underlying health issues that may be contributing to the patient's symptoms.
Family history: It is also important to ask the patient about their family history of eye conditions, as a family history of nearsightedness or farsightedness can increase the patient's risk of developing these conditions.
One of the most common treatments for nearsightedness and farsightedness is the use of prescription glasses or contact lenses. These corrective lenses work by changing the way that light enters the eye, helping to improve your vision. You may need to visit our optometrist periodically to have your prescription updated as your refractive error changes over time.
In some cases, refractive surgery may be an option for patients with nearsightedness or farsightedness. This involves using lasers to reshape the cornea, the clear outer layer of the eye, to correct the patient's refractive error. Some common types of refractive surgery include LASIK, PRK, and SMILE. However, it is important to note that refractive surgery may not be appropriate for all patients and can come with certain risks and side effects. Learn more about LASIK.
Another option for treating nearsightedness is orthokeratology, which involves the use of specialized contact lenses that are worn overnight to temporarily reshape the cornea. This can help improve your vision during the day without the need for glasses or contacts. However, it is important to note that orthokeratology may not be effective for all patients and can come with certain risks and side effects. Learn more about orthokeratology.
When it comes to children with nearsightedness, it's crucial to slow down the progression of their myopia in order to maintain their eye health. This is where myopia management, also known as myopia control, comes into play. Various techniques can be employed for this purpose, including atropine eye drops, specialty contact lenses such as MiSight, and customized hard lenses worn at night known as OrthoK, CRT lenses, or orthokeratology. Learn more about myopia management.
In addition to these treatments, there are also some lifestyle changes that you can make to help manage your nearsightedness or farsightedness. For example, you can take frequent breaks when using digital devices, spending time outdoors, wear protective eyewear when playing sports, and practice good eye hygiene to help reduce the risk of developing other eye conditions.
It is worth noting that the type of treatment that is recommended for a patient with nearsightedness or farsightedness will depend on a variety of factors, including the severity of their refractive error, their age, their overall health, and their personal preferences. Our optometrist will work with the patient to develop a customized treatment plan that takes all of these factors into account.
Are you struggling to see things clearly either up close or far away? Don't let blurry vision hold you back! It's time to take action and see our eye doctor for an eye exam.
At Amplify EyeCare, we are passionate about helping patients with farsightedness or nearsightedness to see clearly and live their best lives. Our experienced optometrists will perform a comprehensive eye exam to determine the best course of action to improve your vision. To schedule a comprehensive eye exam, you can reach out to your nearest Amplify EyeCare practice either via a call or in-person visit. Our team of eye care professionals is ready and equipped to provide you with the care you need.