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What does it mean to be Nearsighted or Farsighted?

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There is a lot of confusion about what does it mean to be nearsighted or farsighted. Many patients come into our office having the two eye conditions confused. This week’s article will explore the topic and dispel any confusion, so read on!

The eye is an amazing organ, it lets you see the world. But what does seeing really mean? Well, when the eye sees anything, light rays are focused onto the retina. For someone who has neither eye conditions, they will be able to see at close and far distances clearly. The retina is the part of the eye which sends signals to the brain about the object being seen. It transmits an image which is then understood by the brain, similar to a movie projector transmitting an image onto a screen.


Are you nearsighted?

If you are nearsighted, you’re able to see objects clearer at closer distances than objects that are farther away. Why? Objects closer to the focal point of the light are pushed back to the retina so one can see the object. Light, therefore, lands in front of the retina, instead of on the retina. Those who are nearsighted (referred to as myopia by medical professionals) have an elongated eye than average.

Here’s another compact article on understanding myopia (nearsightedness).

Interestingly, our eye exam results are turning up increased numbers of people (especially children) with myopia. This is thought to be largely due to the prevalence of technology, and how much time children spend in front of a screen. More information about this can be found in a past article: “How Much Time do Your Children Spend in Front of a Screen?


Are you farsighted?

Farsighted (referred to as Hyperopia by medical professionals) individuals see objects clearer at a distance than those that are closer. This is because light is focused behind the retina than on the retina. The eye shape, in this case, is shorter than average.

If you are nearsighted, then you see things better “nearer”. If you are farsighted, you see things better “further away”. This is an easy way to remember these two eye conditions.

Both eye conditions are easily corrected with glasses, contacts, or laser eye surgery. It is important to have regular eye exams so changes in the shape of the eye can be monitored and treated appropriately.


Would you like to learn more about these eye conditions?

Book an appointment with Dr. Sharma to learn more! We love seeing happy eyes.