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What does it mean to be nearsighted or farsighted?

Two of the most common refractive errors are myopia (nearsightedness) and hyperopia (farsightedness). Both conditions have one thing in common, they each affect the way the light is reflected on the retina.

Usually, the light is focused directly on the retina, but if you are nearsighted or farsighted, this is not the case. With a healthy eye, light enters the eye and is refracted by the cornea and the lens working together to focus it onto the retina at the very back of the eye. The retina converts this light into electrical pulses. These electrical pulses are sent to your brain, allowing your brain to produce an image.

A refractive error occurs when there is an imperfection in the eye that prevents the light from being focused directly on the retina.

What is Myopia?  | Dittman Eyecare

Myopia is an eye condition, commonly known as nearsightedness, that affects almost 30 percent the population in the U.S. This condition occurs due to the cornea being too curved or if the eyeball is too long causing the light to be focused in front of the retina rather than directly on it.

People who are nearsighted can do close work such as reading or working on the computer, but they struggle to see when watching a movie, driving or identifying faces from a far distance.

What is Hyperopia?

Hyperopia, also known as farsightedness, occurs when the eyeball is too short, or the cornea is not curved enough causing light to be focused behind the retina. This allows a farsighted person to see far away but not up close.  Hyperopia is less widespread than myopia, affecting only roughly ten percent of people in the U.S.

Someone who is farsighted can read an eye chart from a distance but may struggle to read a book that is up close. This condition is commonly missed in visions screenings that are performed in schools, so it is essential to visit Dittman Eyecare to have your eyes checked by our staff of eye care professionals. Not only will we determine your visual acuity, but we will also provide you with a comprehensive eye exam to ensure all aspects of your eye health are covered.

Signs You May Have a Vision Problem

Frequent headaches or eye strain are a common sign that you may have a problem with your vision such as myopia or hyperopia. If you experience these symptoms and already have contacts or glasses, you may need to have your prescription updated. Whether you suspect you have a vision problem, need new frames, or want to renew your prescription, the expert optometrists at Dittman Eyecare can help! Contact us today to schedule an exam.

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