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Dr. Marc Weinstein

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More often than not, most people are only aware of eye conditions, but not informed about them. They can hardly tell the difference between a person who can't see from afar, one who can't see anything up-close and everything in between. This article seeks to bridge that information gap by  looking into two popular visual conditions; hyperopia and myopia.

What Is Hyperopia?

Hyperopia is an alternative term for farsightedness. It is a visual condition that makes the patient see objects that are distant better and clearer than ones that are up close. This happens because the patient's eyes place a better focus on objects that are far away than on nearby ones. For children, it might not be so bad, except in rare cases. Even with the condition, they may still be able to see both objects that are close and distant because the muscles and lenses in their eyes are still strong enough to see when they squint.

Hyperopia Causes

Typically, the way sight works are that your eyes use to focus light rays to send images of the objects you're viewing to your eyes. When you are hyperopic, the light rays do not land on the right part of your eye. This is why the image comes out unclear.

The cornea, the lens, and the outer layer of your eye make sure that the light rays of the images they focus on land directly on the surface of your retina. If the distance between these parts of your eye and the retina is too short, or your focus power is weak, the light rays will land at the back of the retina instead of landing on it. This is the explanation of the blurry sight that hyperopic people have.

Hyperopia Symptoms

When a person is hyperopic, the following symptoms can be easily spotted

·       Trouble focusing on nearby objects

·       Blurry vision

·       Headaches

·       Eyestrain

·       Fatigue or headache after doing an up-close task such as reading

If you notice these symptoms even when you have your glasses or contacts on, then that's a sign that you're due for a new prescription.

Hyperopia Diagnosis

While one may notice these symptoms, it is quite important to take a test before concluding. The major process for diagnosing hyperopia is a simple eye test.

The first step is that the doctor gets you to read a chart that will be placed a distance away from you. If your doctor can detect hyperopia from that test then he takes a further examination. This time, he uses the retinoscope to examine your retina. The whole idea is to check how light reflects off your retina. Once this is done, a phoropter, which is another kind of testing device is used to determine the best prescription for you, be it contacts or glasses.

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology,  adults who have never had a vision issue ought to get an eye test at the age of 40. Between ages 40 and 54, they just increase the frequency of eye tests to once in 2 to 4 years. Over the next ten years, the frequency must increase to every 1 to 3 years. From 65 years and above, it has to be annually or bi-annually.

The case is however different from persons who have a record of eye disease in their families, diabetes, or high blood pressure, they must go in for tests as early as possible, and far more often.

To treat or manage hyperopia, doctors give contact lenses, glasses, or vision correction surgery. LASIK could be a good option. Typically hyperopia prescriptions are always marked with positive figures like +2.00. The higher, the figure, the stronger the lens.

What Is Myopia

Myopia is the basic opposite of hyperopia. As an alternative name, it is called nearsightedness. It occurs when the patient sees nearby objects clearer than he does faraway objects. Myopia occurs due to two circumstances. First, when the eyeball is too long, or second when the protective outer layer of the eye (called the cornea) is too curved, the light that enters the eye falls in front of the retina (which is the light-sensitive part of the eye) rather than on it. This is what causes the vision to be blurry. This visual issue is called a refractive error.

Symptoms Of Myopia

·       Squinting

·       Trouble focusing on faraway objects

·       Blurry vision

·       Headaches

·       Eyestrain

Treating  Myopia

Upon diagnosing myopia, the doctor can prescribe glasses, contact lenses, or recommend surgery. The prescription power for myopia is normally in negative figures. For example, -3 is stronger than -2.5

As for surgeries, three different surgeries may be recommended for myopic patients. They are:

Photorefractive keratectomy: This surgery is done by sculpting the middle layer of the cornea. This flattens the curve of the cornea which lets the light focus closer to the retina or right on it.

LASIK: The surgeon creates a slim flap on the topmost layer of the cornea. They then sculpt the cornea and move the flap in place

Implantable Collamer Lens (ICL): An incision is made on the eye using the microscope, and the ICL is implanted into your eye and placed between the iris and your natural lens. The Collamer lens helps to refract light on your iris, making your sight clearer.