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What is nearsightedness and what is farsightedness

Updated on October 1, 2013

Nearsightedness and farsightedness

Eye disorders are common. The most common eye diseases are often harmless and are called nearsightedness or farsightedness. These can be overcome with glasses or contact lenses and in the most extreme case with laser therapy.

But what exactly are nearsightedness or farsightedness for eye diseases? How are they caused and how exactly can they be corrected?

Read here all you need to know about nearsightedness and farsightedness.

The accommodating of the lens in normal situations!
The accommodating of the lens in normal situations!

The structure of the eye

In a eye that sees sharp images, the image is precisely formed on the retina. Allowing you to see the image sharp. The lens of the eye is responsible for this. Because the lens of the eye could change in shape, also called accommodating, you can get a sharp image on your retina. This image is then forwarded to the brains and you will become aware of what you see or looking at. This process goes very quick, without you realizing that this is always happening. Every time you look at an object at a different distance, the lens adjusts to the new situation and creates a sharp image.

For an object that is more than five meters away from the eye, the lens must be flat. For an object that is nearer than five meters the lens must be convexed. This doesn’t always work smoothly. Sometimes the lens can no longer adjust to its right shape, or there could be something wrong with the shape of the eyeball. This leads you to suffer from nearsightedness or farsightedness.

Nearsightedness and correction with a negative lens!
Nearsightedness and correction with a negative lens!

What is nearsightedness

As the name implies, people who are nearsighted still see near objects sharply. In the distance they don’t see sharp images. In this case the lens is still capable of convexing, but cannot be absolutely anymore. It may also be that the shape of the eyeball is not round but more like an egg on its side.

Solution for nearsightedness

Nearsightedness is corrected with a hollow or negative (-) lens.

People with their eyes squeezing as they watch television or children who like to sit in front of the classroom nearby the board to read it easier, are often suffering from nearsightedness.

Farsightedness and correction with a positive lens!
Farsightedness and correction with a positive lens!

What is farsightedness

With farsightedness you see distant objects sharp, but objects close to you not. The lens may not be enough convexed, causing the image not to be formed on the retina, but behind it. Also in the case of farsightedness, the cause could be the shape of the eyeball. Which then looks more like an egg that is upright instead of the shape of a round ball.

Solution for farsightedness

Farsightedness is corrected with a positive (+) lens.

Farsightedness is more difficult to establish than nearsightedness. Often people who suffer from it, hold a newspaper further away from the eye or just keep getting it closer and closer to the eyes while reading it.

Contact lenses could help you see sharp again!
Contact lenses could help you see sharp again!

Glasses, contact lenses or laser treatment

What treatment do you choose as nearsightedness or farsightedness is determined?

For a younger child glasses are often chosen, this is the most simple and the least radical treatment for them.

Older people often choose for contact lenses or laser surgery. With both kind of treatments excellent results could be achieved. Contact lenses can you apply yourself and the additional benefit is, that there are many variants, so you could choose the most suitable lenses for you.

If you opt for a laser treatment, you will have permanent results. This is however a major investment for the treatment to be carried out and maybe you feel scared or fearful to undergo this treatment.


Do you believe you suffer from nearsightedness or farsightedness?

Please, let your eyes be measured at the optician and prevent additional symptoms such as headaches and the occurrence of wrinkles by squeezing with the eyes from happening. You can choose from several treatments, which will all let you see sharp again.

Are you interested in other common eye diseases? Please continue reading in; What is night blindness.


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