Myopia, or short-sightedness, is an eye condition where objects can be seen clearly up close, but objects further away appear blurred.
Myopia occurs if the eyeball is too long or the cornea, the clear front cover of the eye, has too much curvature. Most myopic eyes are healthy and are larger than normal - not that you'd see it, we are talking at a microscopic level.
Myopia is very common and is generally first picked up in school-age children who may frown or screw up their eyes in an effort to see. Short-sighted children may also hold reading material quite close or sit very near to the television.
While myopia is often inherited, it can also occur in individuals with no prior family history of myopia. Myopia is not preventable and does not simply go away. Because the eye continues to grow during childhood and adolescence, myopia typically increases until about 25 years of age when it levels off. Myopia does not cause blindness.
The good news is that eyes with myopia are capable of good vision and require no treatment other than optical correction such as glasses, contact lenses, orthokeratology, and in some cases, refractive surgery.
Your optometrist will advise you as to which treatment is most suitable for you.
Hyperopia, or long-sightedness, occurs when distant objects can be seen clearly, but those close up do not come into focus properly. In most cases it occurs when the eyeball is smaller than normal. Because of this, the eye cannot focus correctly.
Symptoms people with hyperopia may experience:
Eye conditions caused by poorly focused vision are usually inherited. Hyperopia is a common eye condition in children. Since the size of the eye is the main factor that determines focus, and since the eyes continue growing until about 25 years, long-sighted eyes tend to become less long-sighted as a child grows older. However, all eyes slowly lose their ability to focus with age. Because of this, most people need reading glasses at some stage in their 40s.
Eyes with hyperopia are capable of good vision and require no treatment apart from optical correction or in some cases orthokeratology may be an option.
Presbyopia is an eye condition where the lens of the eye gradually loses its ability to focus on things up close. In other words, it becomes difficult to see close objects clearly.
You may become aware of presbyopia when you start holding books or newspapers at arm's length in order to read them. If you're short-sighted, you might temporarily manage presbyopia by reading without your glasses.
Symptoms of presbyopia may include:
There are many ways to correct presbyopia including reading glasses, progressive glasses and contact lenses. In some cases orthokeratology might be an option.
Because vision changes rapidly between the ages of 45-55 years, frequent lens changes may be needed.
Regular examinations with your optometrist can ensure that your eyes are healthy and that you maintain clear and comfortable vision.