Differences Between Hyperopia and Myopia? | Primera Eye Care
 

What Is the Difference Between Hyperopia and Myopia?

Hyperopia is farsightedness and myopia is nearsightedness
Read Time: 4 minutes
Sep 30, 2022

Both hyperopia and myopia impact your ability to see clearly. Certain things will appear blurry to you if you have either condition. But what’s the difference between the two and how are they treated?

What Is a Vision Disorder?

Both hyperopia and myopia are vision disorders caused by a refractive error within the eye. This means that the eye doesn’t focus light where it should and the point of focus is either behind or in front of the retina, rather than directly on it as it would be in a normal eye. Hyperopia, myopia, and astigmatism, which occurs when there is more than one focal point on the retina, are all refractive error vision problems.

What Is Hyperopia?

a diagram comparing an eye with hyperopia to a normal eye

Hyperopia is also known as far-sightedness. This condition occurs when the eye doesn’t properly reflect light and the focal point is therefore behind the retina instead of directly on it. Because of this, objects that are close can appear blurry.

How Common Is Hyperopia?

Hyperopia impacts up to 10% of Americans.

What Causes Hyperopia?

Hyperopia is a refractive error that occurs within the eye. It can be caused by the cornea, which is the clear front dome of the eye, having too little curve. Another potential cause is if the eyeball is shorter. Either occurrence could result in the eye focusing behind the retina instead of on it.

What Are the Symptoms of Hyperopia?

a man with hyperopia holding a boostock-photo-side-view-young-man-sittingk far away so he can read

The symptoms of hyperopia are:

  • Blurred vision, particularly when viewing nearby objects
  • Needing to squint in order to clearly see
  • Eye strain
  • Burning eyes
  • Achiness around the eyes
  • Headache after doing tasks that require close vision

How Is Hyperopia Treated?

a man putting on glasses standing in front of an eye doctor’s vision chart

Hyperopia is treated with vision correction like glasses or contact lenses, which can help by refocusing objects that are nearer so that they appear clearly.

How Do You Know You Need Glasses to Treat Hyperopia?

If you notice any of the above symptoms, you should see your eye doctor. Untreated hyperopia can prevent you from performing as well at close-up tasks like reading or typing, which could impact work, school, and other daily activities. It could also impact your safety.

What Is Myopia?

a diagram showing a myopic eye and a normal eye to compare the two

Myopia is the opposite of hyperopia and is also known as nearsightedness. People with this condition have difficulty seeing objects that are farther away, while closer objects are clear. In myopia, the point of focus is in front of the retina rather than on the retina.

How Common Is Myopia?

Myopia is more common than hyperopia, impacting up to 40% of Americans.

What Causes Myopia?

Myopia is typically caused either by the shape of the eye being too elongated or by the cornea having too steep of a curve. Either one of these causes a refractive error within the eye and prevents the focus point from being directly on the retina. Instead, it is in front of the retina and results in objects that are farther away appearing blurry.

What Are the Symptoms of Myopia?

The symptoms of myopia include:

  • Blurred vision, particularly when viewing distant objects
  • Needing to squint in order to clearly see
  • Eye strain
  • Burning eyes
  • Achiness around the eyes
  • Headache after doing tasks that require distant vision

What Are the Symptoms of Myopia in Children?

a child holding a mobile phone too close to their face because they can’t see well

Parents should look out for the following signs that their child may have myopia:

  • Squinting a lot
  • Sitting close to the television
  • Frequently rubbing their eyes
  • Blinking more than normal
  • Lack of awareness of distant objects

How Is Myopia Treated?

a woman putting in a contact lens to treat myopia

Just like hyperopia, myopia is treated with corrective lenses. Both glasses and contact lenses are options.

How Do You Know You Need Glasses to Treat Myopia?

If you’ve experienced any of the above symptoms, make an appointment with your eye doctor. Untreated myopia can be dangerous because you can’t see distant objects far away while driving. Myopia could also reduce your quality of life, impact work and school, and prevent you from fully participating in daily activities and tasks.

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