Contrary to what the name implies, a person who is farsighted has blurred vision when looking at close objects, unless they make a constant effort to focus, which can lead to strain, headaches, and eye fatigue.
What is Farsightedness?
Farsightedness or hyperopia happens when the eye is shorter than normal. This shape causes images to be focused behind the retina, rather than on it. It is a common condition that most often is inherited. As a result, the lens of the eye must exert effort to focus the image on the retina.
Babies and children are usually slightly farsighted; as their eyes grow and lengthen, the condition corrects itself, generally by age seven or eight. Young adults who remain farsighted often don’t realize their condition because they have enough flexibility in focusing power to correct the condition without the aid of eye glasses or contact lenses.
Symptoms of Farsightedness
At first, symptoms may be undetectable or very slight. With age, increased difficulty seeing near objects may be noticed until eventually even distant objects appear blurred.
Treatments for Farsightedness
Farsightedness is easy to fix, and eyes that are farsighted are otherwise healthy. Since farsightedness occurs when images are focused behind the retina, it is corrected when images are refocused onto the retina. This is usually done with common forms of vision correction, including:
- Eyeglasses or contact lenses: the simplest, most common method of vision correction
- Surgery: Surgical options are available to correct farsightedness, but can be expensive and may involve more risk than corrective eyeglasses or contact lenses. These options use either laser technology or small incisions to reshape the cornea of the affected eye.
A person with nearsightedness can see close objects clearly, but may have trouble seeing objects from a distance – like a road sign, blackboard, or face across the room. It’s a common condition, affecting 1 in 4 adults worldwide.
What Causes Nearsightedness?
Nearsightedness or myopia happens when the eye has a long shape, which causes light rays to focus too far in front of the retina, making distance vision difficult.
Like farsightedness, myopia can be inherited. It is often discovered when children are 8 to 12 years old. During the teenage years, when the body is growing rapidly, nearsightedness can get worse. Typically, between ages 20 and 40 there is little change.
Symptoms of Nearsightedness
An eye care professional can diagnose nearsightedness with a simple eye exam. The most common symptoms of nearsightedness include:
- Blurred distance vision
- Frequent squinting of eyes
- Eye strain or headaches from trying to focus
Treatments for Nearsightedness
Nearsightedness is easily corrected by refocusing the light rays onto the retina of the eye. This is commonly done through:
- Eyeglasses and contact lenses: The simplest treatment option chosen by most patients with nearsightedness. PureVision2 contact lenses deliver the clear, crisp vision that you should demand – designed to reduce halos and glare – especially in low light.
- Vision Shaping Treatment (Orthokeratology) – an innovative process that uses customized shaping lenses to gently correct your vision while you sleep so you can enjoy clear vision while you’re awake.
- Surgery: Surgical options are available, but can be expensive, and may involve more risk than contact lens options available. These procedures use laser technology or manual incisions to remove small amounts of tissue from the cornea.
Glaucoma refers to a group of eye disorders that usually have few or no initial symptoms and eventually cause harm to the optic nerve that carries information from the eye to the brain.
In most cases, glaucoma is associated with higher-than-normal pressure inside the eye (ocular hypertension). If untreated or uncontrolled, glaucoma first causes peripheral vision loss and eventually can lead to blindness.
According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), the most common type of glaucoma — called primary open-angle glaucoma — affects an estimated 2.2 million people in the United States, and that number is expected to increase to 3.3 million by 2020 as the U.S. population ages.
Also, open-angle glaucoma is three times more likely to affect African-Americans, compared with non-Hispanic whites in the United States, and blindness from glaucoma is at least six times more prevalent among African-Americans than non-Hispanic whites. Studies also suggest open-angle glaucoma affects Hispanics and Latinos at comparable rates to African-Americans.
Globally, glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness (behind cataracts), according to the World Health Organization.