Nearsightedness vs. Farsightedness: Causes, Symptoms & Prevention

Nearsightedness vs. Farsightedness Causes, Symptoms & Prevention

  Last Updated on July 18, 2022 by Aaron Barriga

Are you struggling to read books? Or the road signs? Or the posters in your room? Is your vision appearing blurry? If yes, then you might be suffering from eye conditions like nearsightedness or farsightedness.

How do your eyes work?

While your eyes are the ones to give you vision, your brain does the work of seeing for you. Let us explain to you the complex connection of your eyes with your brain.
The light waves enter your eyes through the cornea on the top of your iris, the colored part of your eyes. When light hits your cornea after passing through your pupil, it reacts by refracting the light. The pupil is the black circle at the center of your eyes.

Once the light is refracted, the lens and the pupil will change their shape and size, regulating the amount of light hitting the retina. The retina is at the back of your eyes and is the main player behind your ability to see.

The retina comprises several nerves called rods and cones that transform the light waves into electrical impulses. These impulses are then sent to the brain through the nervous system. This is the stage where the images are interpreted, and you can see them.

What is nearsightedness?

Nearsightedness is the condition where you can see objects near you, but you will have difficulty seeing things far away. This is also called myopia.

    • Causes

      The retina transforms the light waves into electrical impulses to the brain. There is a refractive error when you have myopia, which means that light will not focus on your retina properly, thus disallowing you to see distant things clearly. Refractive errors happen because of the shape of your eyes. Sometimes you are born with irregular cornea shapes like – too rounded or too long, while sometimes, you can develop these shapes with age.

      According to some research, excessive mobile phones, computers, and other electronic gadgets contribute to myopia.

    • Symptoms

      The most common symptom of myopia is noticing blurry vision when you try to see objects at a distance. Due to this, you force your eyes to focus, resulting in the development of other symptoms like:

      1. Headaches
      2. Squinting
      3. Eye fatigue
      4. Eye soreness
  • Risk Factors

    Most myopia cases were noticed in children since their eye shape changes as they grow. Adults remain nearsighted if they were diagnosed with it in their childhood. Some studies show that adults also grow myopia due to visual stress or other medical conditions like diabetes.

What is farsightedness?

Farsightedness is the exact opposite of nearsightedness. In this condition, you cannot see nearby objects but can clearly see objects far away.

Farsightedness is also known as hyperopia.

    • Causes

      Hyperopia is a hereditary condition and is based on the shape of your eye. Hyperopia is seen in cases where the cornea is flat, or your eyeball is shorter than usual.

    • Symptoms

      People with hyperopia have difficulty in reading and may have the following symptoms:

      1. Squinting while trying to read
      2. Pain, burning or aching around your eyes
      3. Having headaches while reading or focusing on nearby objects
  • Risk factors

    Hyperopia causes strabismus or commonly known as crossed eyes if left untreated in kids.

Nearsightedness Vs Farsightedness

Nearsightedness Farsightedness
It is also known as myopia. It is also known as hyperopia.
The light focuses too far in front of the retina instead of focusing directly on it. The light focuses behind the retina instead of focusing directly on it.
The shape of your eyeball is too long from front to back. The shape of your eyeball is too short.
In nearsightedness, distant objects look blurry, while nearby ones appear in focus. In farsightedness, close objects look blurry, while distant objects appear in focus.
It develops in childhood and worsens during adolescence. Kids are born with refractive error, and in many cases, improve with age.
  • Diagnosis

    To know whether you are nearsighted or farsighted, you need to see which objects in your view are the blurriest through a test.

    Firstly, ensure that your eyes are away from any screens. Close your eyes for a few seconds. Then start the test by reading a few pages of a book. If the words look blurry or you develop a headache after reading, you may be farsighted.

    Now try looking at objects in the distance of about 10 feet – a poster on your wall or the street. If the words appear to be blurry, you may be nearsighted.

    If you could not see objects near and far, you might have both – myopia and hyperopia. If you have trouble with your eyes, consult your ophthalmologist immediately and get a professional eye examination done.

  • Treatment

    Nearsightedness and farsightedness are the most common eye problems seen in people. They can be routinely treated with prescribed eyeglasses and contact lenses that can be worn constantly or as advised by your doctor.

    Refractive surgery, like LASIK or PRK, can also be an option you can choose. They are not permanent solutions, and your conditions may come back after a few years.

Ways to reduce the risk of developing myopia and hyperopia

Although the above options can treat myopia and hyperopia, there are some ways you can altogether reduce the risk of developing these conditions.

  1. Reduce screen time and use blue light glasses

    Minimize your screen time and save your eyes. If you are someone who has to work on a computer constantly, play by the 20/20/20 rule. Take a 20-minute break in between to look at something at 20 feet distance for 20 seconds.

    Invest in high-quality blue light glasses. There are cases where certain eye problems happen because of the exposure to blue light due to prolonged use of tablets, computers, and mobile devices. This light causes eye strains, headaches, and disruptions in your sleep cycle.

    The blue light glasses are yellow-tinted that block blue light and decrease eye-straining.

  2. Spend more outdoor time

    Sunlight stimulates dopamine, which contributes to the elongation of your eyes. Spending time outdoors will improve the production of the above neurotransmitter and consequently cause less elongation of the eyeballs, leading to a reduced likelihood of developing nearsightedness.

  3. A healthy lifestyle

    A healthy lifestyle has several benefits – from a healthy body to healthy eyes. Eat healthy, drink enough water, eat lots of fruits and green vegetables and never skip your doctor appointments for a routine eye checkup.

Bottom line

Many studies show that the US is on a high rise for myopia and hyperopia. With proper measures, you can prevent certain levels of eye conditions.

If you are facing any vision issues, book an appointment at InSight Vision Center. We strive to be accessible and provide our patients with the ultimate personalized care they need.

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