A Clearer View

Latest treatment options and news about cataracts, dry eye syndrome and other eye care topics.

Nearsighted, Farsighted, What’s the Difference?

by Damion Wasylow 11 May 2019 12:58 PM

woman seen through glasses she's putting on someone else
If you wear glasses, you’re probably quite familiar with the difference between nearsightedness and farsightedness. These conditions are among the most common vision problems in the U.S. and the world. For those experiencing vision challenges for the first time, however, nearsightedness and farsightedness are easily confused. So, which is which, and what can be done to correct the conditions? 


Also known as myopia, nearsightedness is characterized by difficulty clearly seeing objects that are far away. That might seem counterintuitive, so you can remember it this way…if you are nearsighted, you CAN clearly see things that are NEAR

Nearsightedness is a type of refractive error. That means your eye shape does not bend light appropriately. With nearsightedness, instead of light focusing correctly on your retina, it focuses in front of the retina, resulting in a blurred image.

Nearsightedness is typically genetic and usually diagnosed through an eye exam during childhood. It often progresses substantially as the body grows rapidly through early adolescence.

Prescription glasses or contact lenses are the most common treatments for nearsightedness. Expertly crafted lenses from your optician help to better focus light on the appropriate part of the retina. Lens prescriptions vary greatly, and are commonly represented by a negative number. The more negative the number, the stronger the lenses that are required to correct your vision. 

Surgery can also correct nearsightedness for many patients, and may offer lifelong vision improvement.


Also known as hyperopia, farsightedness is less common than nearsightedness, but still among the most frequently diagnosed vision problems in the U.S. People who are farsighted have trouble seeing things that are near them. In other words… if you are farsighted, you CAN clearly see things that are FAR AWAY

Like nearsightedness, farsightedness is a refractive error. In this case, it’s generally the result of either your eyeball being shorter than normal or your cornea being curved too little. 

As a refractive error, farsightedness is also treated with either corrective lenses or surgery. Your farsightedness lens prescription will feature a positive number. The bigger that number, the more powerful the required lens. 

If your vision is blurred or you experience double vision, haziness, glare, halos, eye strain or recurring headaches, contact North Florida Cataract Specialists and Vision Care today to schedule a comprehensive eye exam. We’ll diagnose the cause of your vision problem and recommend treatment options to dramatically improve your vision.

Call us today at 352-373-4300.



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