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Are You Farsighted or Nearsighted?

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Odds are, you or someone you know wears glasses due to being farsighted or nearsighted. But what does that really mean?

When you’re farsighted, you’re able to clearly see an object that is far away, while closeby objects appear blurry. For instance, you might need glasses to read a book but not to drive. If you’re nearsighted, it’s the opposite, which explains why it’s easy to read a book but not a road sign in the distance

What Does It Mean to Be Farsighted?

Farsightedness, also known as hyperopia, occurs when the eyeball is too short or the cornea’s curve is too flat. This causes the light rays entering the eye to focus behind the retina instead of directly on the retina.

Hyperopia is often seen in babies, but usually displays no obvious signs because a young child’s eyes have the ability to adapt. Children with undiagnosed hyperopia may develop a lazy eye or eye turn.

Signs of farsightedness may include:

  • Headaches or fatigue after doing close work such as reading, writing or drawing
  • Squinting to see clearly
  • Trouble focusing on nearby objects
  • Eye-turn
  • Clumsiness or poor eye-hand coordination

What Does It Mean to Be Nearsighted?

Nearsightedness, also called myopia, occurs when the eyeball is too long or the cornea is too curved, causing light to focus in front of the retina instead of directly on the retina.

Myopia normally starts in childhood and progresses until the late teen years, when the eyes stop growing. The vast majority of school-aged children, teenagers, and young adults who need glasses have been diagnosed with myopia.

Signs of nearsightedness may include:

  • Blurry vision when looking at distant objects
  • Headaches caused by eyestrain
  • Being unaware of distant objects
  • Difficulty seeing while driving, especially at night
  • Excessive blinking
  • Frequent eye rubbing
  • Needing to sit close to the computer or television, or at the front of the classroom
  • Persistent squinting or partially closing the eyelids to see clearly

As with farsightedness, people with nearsightedness can benefit from glasses and contact lenses. While some people might need to wear glasses or contact lenses only for computer work or reading, others might need to wear them all the time.

A comprehensive eye exam tests for farsightedness and nearsightedness, and assesses your eye health. Contact Washington Eye Doctors in Washington, D.C. to schedule your eye exam

At Washington Eye Doctors, we put your family's needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 202-335-5032 or book an appointment online to see one of our Washington, D.C. eye doctors.

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