Common Vision Definitions

What is Myopia?

People with Myopia, or near-sightedness, can see things up close but not far away. Myopia occurs when the length of the eye grows too long. When this occurs, light focuses in front of the vision cells in the eye, causing distant objects to become blurred. It is not reversible.

Treatment: Myopia can be treated with glasses, contact lenses and specialty Orthokeratology lenses. People with low forms of myopia can still see clearly at near and usually wear a part-time correction for seeing distance. Moderate forms of myopia require full-time correction.

What is Astigmatism?

When the cornea or the lens in the eye is not completely symmetrical, it causes a distortion of images in the back of the eye. This is called astigmatism. It causes blurred vision at distance and near. We correct astigmatism with glasses and contact lenses.

Treatment: Astigmatism can be treated with glasses, contact lenses and refractive surgery.

What is Hyperopia?

People with Hyperopia, or far-sightedness, are blurry at near and sometimes distance. It occurs when the length of the eye is too short and light focuses behind the vision cells. Most children are born with small amounts of hyperopia that they outgrow as their body grows. This is normal. If the child has large amounts of hyperopia, the vision in that eye will be blurred at distance and near, leading to delays in vision and learning development. Large amounts of hyperopia can cause a lazy eye and a non-functioning eye (blindness).
Hyperopia can only be diagnosed with a comprehensive eye exam by an Optometrist or Ophthalmologist. This is why a child should have an eye exam by age 2. It is difficult to detect in the home environment as only one eye may be affected.

Treatment: Low forms of hyperopia are treated with reading glasses or bifocals. This corrects the near blur and relaxes the eye muscles. Moderate hyperopia is corrected with full-time glasses or contact lenses. Severe hyperopia is treated with full-time eyeglasses, bifocals and patching. The goal of eye patching is to get the brain to recognize the images from the newly corrected eye.

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