Both nearsightedness and farsightedness are refractive errors. Near-sighted people see perfectly clear at close range, but blurry at a distance. With far-sighted people, it might not so obvious as they are able to compensate for the refractive error with increased muscle tension.
Nearsightedness (technical term “myopia”) and farsightedness (technical term “hyperopia or hypermetropia”) are very common refractive errors. More than half of all Americans are affected by one of the two refractive errors. Here you find information on how to recognize these refractive errors and how to find out whether you are affected by nearsightedness or farsightedness.
Look at an Object Which Is at Least Located 20 Feet Away
When you focus on an object located at least 20 feet away your eye muscles are relaxed and when the object appears to be blurry you are nearsighted. By decreasing the distance from you to the object it will turn clear at some distance. Do this test with each eye separately without glasses to see if have myopia.
In the case of farsightedness, it is oftentimes not as easy as described on the internet to find out yourself if farsightedness is present. The reason is especially with mild farsightedness the eyes can compensate for the hyperopia with a little more muscle tension. This could be taxing on your eyes especially when you perform near work like reading but when your eyes are still capable of compensating then your visual acuity will be just as sharp with and without glasses.
But with glasses, you would see sharp and relaxed. However when the hyperopia is higher the eyes of adults oftentimes can not compensate with increased muscle tension. When the person is looking into the distance with farsightedness it might be possible to focus on things for a short time and see them clear but when the person needs to read muscle tension is not great enough and therefore it will get blurry.
So to find out if you are farsighted look for things like blurriness. When objects are blurry at a distance you are nearsighted. When you feel eye strain while reading or performing near work you are probably younger with a lower or moderate farsightedness. When objects are blurry at near and in the distance you are probably over 50 years old and farsighted.
When you receive a prescription for glasses or contacts a plus sign (+) indicates you are farsighted, a minus sign (-) indicates you are nearsighted.
Is It Better To Be Farsighted or Nearsighted?
A lot of people prefer to be nearsighted when they like to read or perform craftsman work. When nearsightedness is just lower to moderate they can see clearly within arm’s length and without the need for reading glasses. In comparison when the hobbies are focused on outdoor activities it would be oftentimes better to be farsighted. Because then depending on the amount of farsightedness the distance could be seen temporarily clearly without glasses.
Whether it is better to be farsighted or nearsighted highly depends on the activities performed and in combination with it the amount of farsightedness and nearsightedness.
The Cause of You Being Nearsighted or Farsighted
The light rays entering your eyes are not focused directly on your retina. There are two main possible reasons for this:
- The eyeball is too long or too short.
- The refractive power of the lens is too strong or too weak.
Myopia or hyperopia is the result of the relation of the length of the eyeball in combination with the refractive power. When the refractive power is just right the light rays focus on your retina as you focus at the distance and therefore you will get a clear visual experience. When the refractive power is too strong the light rays will focus a little in front of the retina.
The visual experience will be a blurry view. When the person wears minus glasses the refractive power of the lens eye system gets weaker and therefore the focus in the eyes moves back a little right on the retina. Now we have a clear visual experience again.
When the eye refractive power is a little too weak the light rays would theoretically focus behind the retina. With plus lenses the focus gets moved back on the cornea. With a stronger refractive power from the eye glasses system the person sees clearly and has a relaxed visual experience.
What Glasses or Contacts Do You Need if You Are Nearsighted or Farsighted?
As long as you are “only” either nearsighted or farsighted, a simple pair of single vision glasses (or corresponding contact lenses) is sufficient to correct your refractive error. Only if you have several refractive errors at the same time, you will need a more complex visual aid. If your refractive error is combined with presbyopia, it can no longer be corrected with single vision glasses. You will then need a special visual aid, for example, varifocals or multifocal lenses.
Is It Possible To Be Short-Sighted and Long-Sighted at the Same Time?
Yes some people are shortsighted in one eye and farsighted with the other eye. This is oftentimes the case when the refractive error is rather low. However some people have hyperopia and myopia in one eye. I oftentimes see this during my measurements when the person needs plus lenses in combination with a bigger astigmatism. Because when you have a bigger astigmatism the focal point gets split up into two focal planes. The bigger the distance between those planes is the bigger the astigmatism.
When one plane is in front of the retina and one is behind the retina the person is farsighted and shortsighted at the same time. An optician or optometrist can easily correct this condition with glasses or contacts.
Here in this post, you found some tips to find out if you are farsighted or nearsighted. I recommend always seeking the advice of an eye care specialist. He will make a lot of measurements to see which glasses or contacts work well for you and if myopia or hyperopia is the only thing minimizing your visual experience.
I wish you a great day.