What’s the difference between nearsightedness and farsightedness?
If you need glasses, you may have been told you are nearsighted or farsighted. These are two very common “refractive” problems and the two often get confused.
When you’re nearsighted it means that you can see stuff that’s near, like the TV or a book. But, you have trouble seeing stuff that’s far away like street signs or the chalk board at school.
If you’re farsighted, you can see stuff that’s far away, but you have trouble seeing things that are up close, like the text in a book.
Another refractive problem is called astigmatism (pronounced: uh-stig-muh-tih-zum). This is when the cornea is an uneven shape, causing images to distort and making things look blurry.
Glasses or contact lenses can correct these common refractive vision problems because they allow the eye to focus light in the right spot on the retina – the spot that produces the clearest image. If you need glasses or contacts, your doctor will give you a prescription that tells the people who make glasses what kind of lenses you need for the best vision.