Myopia vs hyperopia
Myopia and hyperopia are two common vision problems related to the way light is focused on the retina in the eye. They are also known as nearsightedness (myopia) and farsightedness (hyperopia).
- Definition: Myopia occurs when the eye is too long or the cornea is too curved, causing light to focus in front of the retina instead of directly on it. This results in difficulty seeing objects at a distance while near vision remains clear.
- Symptoms: Blurry vision when looking at distant objects, squinting, eye strain, and headaches.
- Prevalence: Myopia is quite common, affecting around 25% to 40% of the population in the United States and an even higher percentage in some Asian countries.
- Treatment: Myopia can be corrected with prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses.
- Cure with refractive surgery: SMILE laser vision correction, LASIK eye surgery, PRK or EVO Visian ICL.
- Definition: Hyperopia occurs when the eye is too short or the cornea is not curved enough, causing light to focus behind the retina instead of directly on it. This results in difficulty seeing objects up close while distance vision may remain clear.
- Symptoms: Blurry vision when looking at near objects, eye strain, headaches, and difficulty focusing on tasks that require near vision (e.g., reading, using a computer).
- Prevalence: Hyperopia is less common than myopia, affecting around 5% to 10% of the population in the United States.
- Treatment: Hyperopia can be corrected with prescription eyeglasses, contact lenses, multifocal contacts.
- Refractive surgery LASIK, PRK.or Presbyopic Implants.
In summary, myopia and hyperopia are vision problems that affect the way light is focused on the retina. Myopia causes difficulty seeing distant objects, while hyperopia causes difficulty seeing near objects. Both can be corrected with eyeglasses, contact lenses, or refractive surgery.
Can astigmatism be present with myopia and hyperopia?
Yes, astigmatism can be present along with myopia (nearsightedness) or hyperopia (farsightedness). Astigmatism is a common vision problem caused by an irregularly shaped cornea or, in some cases, an irregularly shaped lens inside the eye. This irregular shape prevents light from focusing evenly on the retina, leading to blurry or distorted vision at all distances.
When astigmatism occurs together with myopia or hyperopia, it is called a “compound” refractive error:
- Compound myopic astigmatism: This occurs when astigmatism is present along with myopia, causing both near and far objects to appear blurry or distorted.
- Compound hyperopic astigmatism: This occurs when astigmatism is present along with hyperopia, causing difficulty seeing objects clearly at all distances.
In some cases, astigmatism can also occur with a mix of myopia in one meridian and hyperopia in another, which is called “mixed astigmatism.”
Like myopia and hyperopia, astigmatism can be corrected with prescription eyeglasses, contact lenses, or refractive surgery (e.g., LASIK, PRK). For individuals with astigmatism, the lenses in their glasses or contacts will be specifically designed to correct the uneven curvature of the cornea or lens, in addition to addressing the myopia or hyperopia.