Vision Variations: Nearsightedness vs. Farsightedness

ThOculist holding a pair of eyeglassesose with vision problems are often diagnosed with common conditions known as nearsightedness and farsightedness. While these terms are sometimes confused, the names help to easily explain the meanings. Those who are nearsighted can see things near to them, while struggling to see things at a distance. Farsighted individuals can see things far away from them, but not very well up close.

More specifically, a nearsighted student may be able see all of the text on a worksheet they are working on, but struggle to see what is on the smart board. Oppositely, a farsighted individual may be able to effortlessly examine what is on the television on the far wall of a restaurant, but unable to decipher what’s offered on the menu.

Both conditions are based on the length of the eyeball or the curvature of the cornea. According to the American Optometric Association, nearsightedness occurs when the eyeball is too long or the cornea has too much curvature; whereas, farsightedness happens when the eyeball is too short or the cornea has too little curvature. In both instances, when light enters the eye it is not focused correctly, thus causing vision programs.

If you suffer from eye strain, headaches, eye fatigue, aching eyes or blurred vision, especially at night, you may need to visit the eye doctor. Both nearsightedness and farsightedness are easily treatable with eye glasses, contact lenses or laser refractive surgery. If you are currently being treated for either condition, and are still experiencing the aforementioned symptoms, a stronger prescription may be required.

Resources: WebMD, Mayo Clinic and American Optometric Association

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