For vision to work properly, both your distance and near vision should be clear. Both nearsightedness and farsightedness are refractive conditions, referring to how light is focused in relation to the eye. Below, learn what farsightedness and nearsightedness mean, as well as the differences between the two.
The technical term for farsightedness is hyperopia. If you are farsighted, you can see distant objects well, but reading or looking at items close up is blurry for you. With hyperopia, the eyeball is either too short or there is not enough curvature of the lens for objects to focus properly. Light will focus at a point beyond the retina instead of in front of the retina or directly on its surface. This causes blurry vision up close.
Nearsightedness, also known as myopia, is the opposite of farsightedness. It means that with your uncorrected natural vision, you have difficulty seeing at a distance. This happens when the eyeball is too long. Because it is longer than normal, light cannot focus properly through the lens and cornea. When you view an object, the light rays that hit your eye will end up focusing at a point in front of the retina instead of focusing directly at the retina. This is why objects farther away become blurrier compared to objects up close – the focusing distance is further. Nearsightedness can also be caused by the curvature of the lens of the eye. If the lens is too curved, this will throw off your focusing point as well.
Differences Between Nearsightedness & Farsightedness
Being farsighted or nearsighted both affect your ability to see clearly. The difference between farsighted and nearsighted is whether you have difficulty seeing up close or at a distance. Farsightedness makes it hard to see things that are close, and nearsightedness makes it difficult to see things that are far away. Both conditions can be improved with corrective lenses such as glasses or contacts as well as LASIK surgery.