Myopia vs Hyperopia: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Jul 05, 2024 | 2 min read

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Myopia and hyperopia are common vision conditions affecting how we see near and distant objects. Understanding their causes, symptoms, and treatments can help manage vision health effectively.

What Is Myopia?

Myopia, also known as nearsightedness, is a common vision condition. People with myopia see nearby objects clearly, but distant objects appear blurry

This occurs because light entering the eye focuses in front of the retina instead of directly on it. 

Myopia often develops in childhood and can progress with age. It is usually diagnosed through a standard eye exam by an optometrist or ophthalmologist. 

Causes of myopia:

  • Genetic factors: Family history of myopia
  • Environmental factors: Prolonged close-up tasks, like reading or screen time
  • Eye shape: Longer than normal eyeball or overly curved cornea
  • Environmental conditions: Reduced time spent outdoors during childhood, as suggested by some studies
  • Screen time: A study from the Lancet Journal indicates that excessive screen time on smart devices and computers can increase the risk of myopia by nearly 80% in children and teens

What Is Hyperopia?

Hyperopia, also known as farsightedness, is a vision condition where distant objects are seen more clearly than close ones. This happens when light entering the eye focuses behind the retina instead of on it. 

According to the National Eye Institute (NEI), most people with hyperopia are born with the condition, but it may not cause vision issues until they get older. 

It is diagnosed through a comprehensive eye exam. 

Causes of hyperopia:

  • Genetic factors: Family history of hyperopia
  • Eye shape: Shorter than normal eyeball or a less curved cornea
  • Age: Changes in the eye's lens with age
  • Developmental factors: Issues during eye development in childhood

Symptoms: Myopia vs Hyperopia

Common symptoms:

  • Blurry vision
  • Squinting to see clearly
  • Eye strain or discomfort
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue during visual tasks

Specific symptoms of myopia:

  • Blurry vision when looking at distant objects
  • Difficulty seeing while driving, especially at night
  • Needing to sit closer to the TV or front of the classroom

Specific symptoms of hyperopia:

  • Blurry vision for close-up tasks, such as reading or sewing
  • Headaches after prolonged periods of close work
  • Discomfort or fatigue during activities that require near vision

Treatment: Myopia vs Hyperopia

Treatment for myopia:

  • Corrective Lenses: Glasses or contact lenses are the most common treatment. They help refocus light on the retina, improving distance vision.
  • Orthokeratology: Specially designed rigid contact lenses are worn overnight. These lenses temporarily reshape the cornea, providing clearer vision during the day without the need for glasses or contact lenses.
  • Refractive Surgery: Procedures like LASIK, PRK, or SMILE permanently change the shape of the cornea. These surgeries improve how light is focused on the retina, reducing or eliminating the need for glasses or contact lenses.
  • Lifestyle Adjustments: Reducing screen time and increasing outdoor activities can help manage myopia progression in children.

Treatment for hyperopia:

  • Corrective Lenses: Glasses or contact lenses are used to enhance near vision. They help refocus light on the retina, making close-up tasks easier.
  • Reading Glasses: These are often used specifically for reading or other close-up tasks. They can be used over contact lenses or as a separate pair of glasses.
  • Refractive Surgery: Procedures like LASIK, LASEK, or PRK can be performed to adjust the cornea's shape. This allows for better focus on near objects, reducing the need for corrective lenses.
  • Vision Therapy: A series of eye exercises can improve the eye's focusing ability and coordination. This therapy is especially useful for children to help manage hyperopia effectively.
  • Lifestyle Adjustments: Encouraging breaks during close-up tasks and ensuring proper lighting can help reduce eye strain and discomfort associated with hyperopia.

Regular eye exams are essential for both conditions to ensure optimal vision and appropriate treatment adjustments.

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