In order to have fully functional eyesight, your distance vision and near vision must be clear. However, the majority of adults experience some level of blurriness for objects up close, at a distance, or both. These are called refraction issues, which include nearsightedness and farsightedness. Among the most diagnosed eye problems, nearsightedness and farsightedness are easily correctable, but it is important not to conflate them.
Nearsightedness and farsightedness can occur for a variety of reasons, resulting from both genetic and environmental factors. Some of these can include:
- Too much screen time
- Family history
- Spending large amounts of time indoors
Patients with nearsightedness, or myopia, have difficulty seeing objects clearly from far away but do have the ability to see objects up close. This occurs because the eyeball is too long, and light focuses too far in front of the retina. Myopia is very common, with some experts estimating that 40% of Americans have it.
Patients with farsightedness, or hyperopia, have difficulty seeing objects clearly from up close but do have the ability to see objects from far away. This occurs because the eyeball is too short, and light focuses too far past the retina. While less common than myopia, millions of Americans still experience hyperopia.
What Can I Do if I Have Myopia or Hyperopia?
Nearsightedness and farsightedness are typically present from childhood onward and are usually consistently present throughout your life. If left uncorrected, they can negatively interfere with your life and cause everyday tasks like driving to become dangerous. Luckily, since these conditions are so common, there are many different options to correct them.
To correct your myopia or hyperopia, you can pursue:
During a comprehensive eye exam, your eye doctor will be able to determine if you have nearsightedness or farsightedness and can go over the corrective options that are available to you.