What is the Difference Between Nearsightedness and Farsightedness?

When you have normal vision, you can see objects clearly both near and far away.

If you are nearsighted, you can see near objects clearly, whereas objects in the distance are blurred. If you are farsighted, you can see faraway objects clearly, whereas objects that are near are blurred.

Nearsightedness (myopia) is a refractive defect of the eye lens in which the image is formed in front of the retina, not on it. It occurs when the physical length of the eye is greater than its optical length.

Farsightedness (hypermetropia or hyperopia) is the result of the visual image’s being focused behind the retina rather than directly on it. The condition may occur because the eyeball is too small or the eye’s focusing power is too weak.

One type of farsightedness is presbyopia, which frequently begins to occur around 40, evidencing itself with blurred near vision when reading, sewing, or working at the computer. It can happen to anyone regardless of the person’s visual acuity before turning 40.

Astigmatism is another refractive error, distorting objects both near and far, so that everything appears out of focus and skewed.

The extent to which these conditions affect your vision can change over time. As such, it’s important to visit your eye doctor for regular checkups. Not only will this ensure your sharp vision, but it will also help you prevent and treat common disorders before they have a chance to disrupt your vision.