Nearsightedness Vs Farsightedness: Understanding the Differences

Nearsightedness Vs Farsightedness

Most of us encounter some sort of problem with the eye at some point in life. Let’s educate ourselves on Nearsightedness and Farsightedness – the most common problem among eye patients.

The eye has a cornea also known as an eye lens that helps them focus light rays properly and view both distant and near objects clearly. However, not everyone’s eye lenses are capable of focusing light rays properly and form a sharp image on the retina. Either by birth, change in the shape of lenses, variation in the length of the eyeball, or due to ageing, most people possess vision problems or reflective error.

So, what exactly are refractive errors? This error generally represents the incapability of the eye in transferring lights to the retina. Of all the problems associated with the vision problem Nearsightedness and Farsightedness affects many. And we need to know the difference between these refractive errors making vision blurry.

More frequent eye defects: Nearsightedness (myopia) and farsightedness (hyperopia)

Followed by blurry vision, refractive errors are vision problems that keep the eye from focusing on your retina. Depending on the distance of the object one cannot see clearly, refractive errors are divided into 2 categories.

Nearsightedness (Myopia):

If the refractive error makes the distant object look blurry or when you find trouble focusing on things far away, you are nearsighted. Some other symptoms that come with nearsightedness are eye strain and squinting when seeing distant objects.

Myopia happens when the eyeball elongates its shape or cornea increases curvature making light focus in front of the retina rather than on it. Most people with Myopia, especially those younger than 35 years, can see near objects clearly. However, some older people find viewing close-up things difficult and are diagnosed to have presbyopia.

Farsightedness (Hyperopia):

If the refractive error makes viewing a distant object easier than the object at the close, you may have farsightedness. Along with difficulty to see near objects, some other common symptoms of farsightedness are eye strain (when reading or working on computers) and headache.

Hyperopia occurs when the eyeball contrast or shape of the cornea gets flat, making the light focus behind the retina instead of on the retina. People can be farsighted since their birth however they may experience difficulty with the vision as they grow older.

Nearsightedness vs Farsightedness:

  • Nearsightedness is an eye issue when a person can see near objects at ease but finds it difficult to see objects at a distance, whereas Farsightedness is just the opposite, making far objects look clearer and near objects blurry.
  • In the case of a Nearsighted, images are formed in front of the retina while in a Farsightedness images are formed behind the retina.
  • Nearsightedness defects can be cured using concave lenses while Farsightedness can be resolved using convex lenses.

Chart comparing – Nearsightedness Versus Farsightedness:

NearsightednessFarsightedness
Popular nameMyopia or short sightedHypermetropia or long sighted
Focus rangeCan see near object clearlyCan see distant object clearly
Blurry visionDistant objectsNear object
Eyeball lengthElongatesShortens
Light convergenceIn front of the retinaPast the retina
CorrectionConcave lensesConvex lenses

What causes nearsighted and farsighted eyes?

Refractive errors are vision conditions that make the eye incapable of focusing light accurately on the retina. As a result, vision may become doubled, blurry and hazy causing eye strain. Nearsighted or Farsighted – the key risk factors responsible for refractive errors are:

Length of the eyeball: When the eyeball is too short or too long. Here, Farsighted is a vision disability caused by an eyeball that is too short, causing lights to focus too far behind the retina. While nearsightedness is caused due to elongated eyeballs, causing light to focus in front of the retina.

The shape of the cornea: The flat cornea is again an important cause of farsighted eyes where nearsightedness is seen in eye lenses with too much curvature.

Aging: As we age, the eye lens gets more rigid and may lose the ability to change focus from close objects to the object at a distance and vice versa. This normal aging process can cause nearsightedness, farsightedness or both when we reach around 40.

Genetics: Myopia found in children is known to pass from their parents. It is seen that if one or both parents are nearsighted, then there are chances that their child will also need glasses in a few years.

Protecting your vision:

Both nearsightedness and Farsightedness are inherited conditions and run into the family. Other factors like visual stress and various diseases can also add to causing the vision problem.

Though we can’t avoid these eye problem to impact your vision, one can slow down the progression by taking proper care:

  • Get routine eye checkups regularly.
  • Wear UV-protected sunglasses to protect eyes under the sun.
  • Wear your prescription glasses regularly.
  • Follow good eye hygiene.
  • Eat a healthy diet rich in the right nutrition, vitamins, and supplements.
  • Take frequent breaks from screen and work that involve constant focus.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Wear blue light glasses when your work involves long screen hours.

How do you know if you have a refractive error?

In most cases, one may not experience a frequent change in vision and they could view the world better until they don’t visit the doctor for a routine eye check-up. That’s why regular eye examination plays an important role in better eye health.

If you have any of these refractive errors impacting your sight, your doctor can prescribe you the right prescription eyeglasses, contact lenses, or refractive surgery to help you see as clearly as possible and enjoy blissful vision.

Wrap up:

Stop straining your eye and get a clearer vision, with the incredible options of eyeglasses, contact lenses, and LASIK surgery. Nearsightedness or farsightedness – each type of refractive error can be corrected with the right prescription in hand. Make sure to get your eye examination done to precisely identify your eye problem.


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