What does nearsighted mean? Nearsightedness is an extremely common affliction, affecting about 30% of people in the United States, according to the American Optometric Association. Also known as myopia, nearsightedness is a condition which causes objects that are far away to appear blurred or unclear. Objects that are close by appear to be in focus.
Nearsighted vs. farsighted
What is nearsighted vision and what is farsighted vision? Nearsightedness and farsightedness are very easy to confuse because of their similar names, but they are actually complete opposites. People who are farsighted can only see far away objects clearly, while people who are nearsighted can only see near-by objects clearly. Keeping in mind that the name of the condition includes the type of vision that the sufferer can see clearly makes these two vision conditions much easier to tell apart.
How to tell if you are nearsighted
Those who are nearsighted are unable to see far away objects clearly. Nearsightedness is characterized by frequent squinting, inability to focus on far way objects, eye strain, and headaches as a result of eye strain, according to All About Vision. Nearsightedness often progresses rapidly in childhood so it is important to look for these warning signs in children. Sitting in the front of the classroom or extremely close to the television are also telltale signs of nearsightedness in children.
The tendency to develop nearsightedness can be genetically inherited. While nearsightedness running in your family will not guarantee that you will develop it, you are more likely to suffer from nearsightedness if you have a family history of it.
What to do if you think you are nearsighted
If you think that you may be nearsighted, it is important to make an appointment with your eye care professional for an exam. Living with nearsightedness can strain your eyes, as well as being a real danger when it comes to driving. A simple eye exam is usually all that is required for nearsightedness to be diagnosed. A distance chart will be used to assess whether or not you are nearsighted and your eye doctor will perform other tests to pinpoint what prescription would best supplement your vision.
How is nearsightedness treated?
What does nearsighted mean in terms of lifestyle? There are several options to treat nearsightedness, all with only minor to no lifestyle changes. Glasses, contact lenses, or refractive surgery can be utilized to supplement the vision of those with nearsightedness. Depending on the severity of the nearsightedness, glasses may need to be worn all the time, or just while driving or watching television in less severe cases. Contact lenses are another option for nearsighted individuals. Similarly to glasses, these lenses will correct vision and allow the wearer to see distant objects clearly. Refractive surgery corrects vision and allows the vision to be truly corrected without the use of glasses or contact lenses.
If you think that you may be suffering from nearsightedness, contact your eye care professional today to set up an exam.