Myopia and hyperopia are both vision conditions that cause blurry vision, but myopia causes blurry vision at a distance, while hyperopia makes your vision blurry close up. In other words, those with myopia (nearsightedness) can often see objects more clearly when they’re up close. Those with hyperopia (farsightedness) typically find it easier to see objects that are farther away.
For both conditions, glasses and contact lenses are often recommended to help you see clearly. In some cases, these conditions can get worse over time too. Regular eye exams are key in spotting vision issues such as myopia and hyperopia early, and are the first step in developing a tailored treatment plan.
What Causes Myopia (Nearsightedness)?
Myopia—also known as nearsightedness—occurs when light entering the eye focuses in front of the retina instead of directly on it, which results in blurred vision while looking at distant objects. It’s typically directly caused by the eye being too long but may also be related to the curve of your cornea.
What Are the Risk Factors for Myopia?
Nearsightedness typically develops during childhood, and a person’s risk of developing myopia can be increased by a variety of factors, including genetics, environment, or a combination of both.
Your genes can play a big role. If your parents have myopia, you may be more likely to have it too. Some research has also pointed to lifestyle factors that can increase myopia risk, such as time spent outdoors. More time doing close-up work (like reading or using a computer) may also contribute to myopia development.
Other factors that aren’t fully understood yet but may play a role include height, intelligence, physical activity levels, sleep patterns, socioeconomic status, and even whether you live in an urban or rural area.
But remember, just because you have 1 or more of these risk factors doesn’t mean you’ll definitely develop myopia. It just means your chances might be higher. If you’re concerned about your sight, we can help you determine your risk of developing myopia and other vision challenges during an eye exam.
Are There Other Symptoms of Myopia?
People with myopia may also experience eye strain and headaches when trying to focus on faraway objects. Additionally, squinting often may also indicate the presence of myopia. If you or your child are experiencing any of these symptoms, we can help you get a clear diagnosis.
Without intervention and over time, myopia can also progress into high myopia and raise a child’s lifetime risk of experiencing other eye issues as an adult.
What Causes Hyperopia (Farsightedness)?
Hyperopia occurs when light and images focus behind the retina, which results in blurry vision while reading or looking at close objects. Farsightedness is typically directly caused by the shape of the eye being too short, but may also be related to an issue in the curve of your cornea.
What Are the Risk Factors of Hyperopia?
Many people have hyperopia to some degree without knowing it. It’s only when it becomes severe enough to affect your vision that it becomes noticeable enough to need intervention or treatment.
Hyperopia has several risk factors. As with myopia, genetics can play a significant role. Individuals with parents affected by hyperopia may have a higher likelihood of experiencing farsightedness too. In some rare cases, eye conditions like tumours and retinopathy may also cause hyperopia.
Age can also be an influential factor for farsightedness. The onset of hyperopia may be noticed in people during their 40s or 50s, but it should not be confused with presbyopia, a common age-related vision issue that can also cause blurry vision up close.
As with myopia, having 1 or more of these risk factors does not guarantee the development of hyperopia, but they may be a good reason to schedule an eye exam and speak with us about your personal risk.
Treatment Options for Myopia & Hyperopia
If you’re dealing with eye conditions such as myopia and hyperopia, you’ve got plenty of options to improve your vision. Glasses and contact lenses are 2 of the most common solutions, but they’re not the only ones.
For some needs, laser vision correction procedures like LASIK surgery may be recommended to help address refractive errors like myopia and hyperopia. These procedures involve reshaping your cornea with the goal of reducing your reliance on corrective lenses. In some cases, these procedures can completely eliminate the need for glasses or contacts, but each person’s results and suitability can vary depending on their current eye health and the severity of their refractive error.
Myopia control using specialized lenses and eye drops may also be an option for helping children reduce the progression of myopia and preserve their sight.
Get a Clear Understanding of Your Eye Health
Understanding the difference between myopia and hyperopia can be challenging, but a comprehensive eye exam can help you get a clear picture of your eye health—or your child’s eye health. If you or your child are experiencing blurry vision, visit us at Annik Eye Care. Book an appointment for an eye exam today, and let’s talk about how we can help you see clearly.