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Nearsighted vs Farsighted: What’s the Difference

Chances are, you or some of your friends and relatives wear eyeglasses due to being nearsighted or farsighted. But what does that really mean?

When you’re nearsighted, your ability to clearly see an object that is close up is better than if it were far away. For instance, reading a book is clear but reading a road sign isn’t. If you’re farsighted, it’s the opposite, which explains why you might need reading glasses but are cleared to drive without them.

What is Nearsightedness?

Nearsightedness, also called myopia, causes distant objects and people to appear blurry.

It occurs when the eyeball is too long or the cornea is too curved, causing light to reach a point of focus before it reaches the retina instead of directly on the retina.

The vast majority of school-aged children, teens, and young adults who need glasses are diagnosed with myopia, which typically begins in childhood and may advance until the late teen years, when the eyes usually stop growing.

People with nearsightedness might need eyeglasses, contacts, or corrective surgery to correct their eyesight. There are a few different ways to manage myopia. The different treatment options include:

  • Orthokeratology (also called corneal refractive therapy) is a non-surgical option for gradually and gently reshaping the cornea
  • Atropine eye drops, which effectively slow the progression of myopia
  • Wearing multifocal eyeglasses or soft contact lenses limits the progression of myopia, compared to single vision glasses or contact lenses.

What is Farsightedness?

Farsightedness, also known as hyperopia, is when a person can see distant objects clearly, but close-up objects appear out of focus.

Farsightedness occurs when the eyeball is too short or the cornea’s curve is too flat, causing light to reach a point of focus beyond the retina instead of on the retina.

Farsightedness is often an issue from birth, but it can take a while to diagnose since a developing brain has the ability to adapt. Children with hyperopia may develop an eye turn or lazy eye.

As with nearsightedness, people with farsightedness can benefit from eyeglasses such as bifocals or transitional lenses, contacts, or corrective surgery. Some people might need to wear glasses and contacts all the time while others might need them only for computer work, reading, and other up-close tasks.

A comprehensive eye exam tests for myopia and hyperopia. Contact Browz Eyeware in Calgary to schedule your eye exam so that you can start to see clearly.

At Browz Eyeware, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 587-600-0644 or book an appointment online to see one of our Calgary eye doctors.

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