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What it Means to Be Nearsighted or Farsighted in Columbia, SC

Being either nearsighted or farsighted in Columbia, SC means that a patient has a refractive error which results in visual acuity problems, known medically as myopia or hyperopia. Refractive error refers to a problem with the eye focusing light. With 20/20 (or perfect) vision, light enters the eyes, and the corneas and lenses bend it to focus directly on the retina. The retina captures light energy and translates it to the brain through the optic nerve, resulting in the sense we call sight. 

myopia and hyperopia treatment from your optometrist in columbia, SC

The Difference Between Myopia (Nearsightedness) and Hyperopia (Farsightedness)

Patients with myopia or hyperopia have eyeballs which are shaped in a way that does not properly focus light on the retina. As a result, the optical centers of these patients' brain receive images which are not clearly focused, resulting in blurred eyesight. Whether a patient can see objects up close or objects far away clearly depend on whether he or she has myopia or hyperopia. 

Myopia - Myopia occurs when a patient's eyeballs are too long or their corneas are overly curved. Either of these features results in improperly focused light and a blurred image. Also referred to as nearsightedness, patients with myopia can see near objects clearly, but are unable to view objects at a distance, such as the television, a movie screen, or signs while driving. Myopic patients typically have a genetic predisposition for developing the visual acuity problem, but participating in activities which overly strain the eyes with up-close work, such as reading, writing, or working on a computer, can also result in developing myopia.

Hyperopia - The opposite of myopia, hyperopia occurs in eyeballs which are too short or when corneas do not have enough curvature, negatively affecting how light focuses. Also called farsightedness, this results in patients being able to see objects at a distance while struggling to focus on near objects. 

Both myopia and hyperopia can be properly diagnosed through various tests with an optometrist including an eye chart test and an exam with a phoropter. During a visual acuity test, a patient is asked to read letters of different sizes on an eye chart posted at a distance and is also asked to read small text up close, as if reading a book. During a phoropter exam, an optometrist observes how light refracts within the eye when shined through different lenses to approximate a corrective lens prescription. 

Visit Apex EyeCare Today!

At Apex EyeCare, we provide effective treatment for the farsighted and nearsighted in Columbia, SC with high-quality corrective lenses in the form of eyeglasses and contact lenses. If you have trouble seeing at a distance or up close, or if you find yourself straining your eyes, we encourage you to schedule a visual acuity exam with an optometrist at Apex EyeCare by calling (803) 741-7177 today.