Myopia, also known as shortsightedness or nearsightedness, is a condition in which distant objects appear out of focus. Myopia occurs when the physical length of the eye is greater than the optical length, causing the visual image to focus in front of the retina instead of directly onto it. This condition cannot be prevented but can easily be corrected by eyeglasses, contact lenses, or a surgical procedure such as LASIK.
Hyperopia, also known as farsightedness, is a condition in which nearby objects appear out of focus. Hyperopia occurs when the eyeball is too small or the eye's focusing power is too weak, causing the visual image to focus behind the retina instead of directly onto it. This condition cannot be prevented but can easily be corrected by eyeglasses, contact lenses, or a surgical procedure.
Presbyopia is a condition in which the lens loses some of its focusing power over time, which diminishes a person's ability to see nearby objects. Presbyopia develops with increasing age, and usually begins to have a noticeable effect on vision around the age of 45. This condition cannot be prevented but can easily be corrected by eyeglasses, contact lenses, or a surgical procedure.
Astigmatism is a condition in which the cornea of the eye is asymmetrically curved, causing vision to be out of focus. Astigmatism is very common, frequently occurs in conjunction with nearsightedness or farsightedness, and is usually present from birth. It can affect either close or far-range vision. This condition cannot be prevented but can usually be corrected by glasses or hard contact lenses (soft contact lenses do not work as well).
Regardless of age or physical health, it is important for everyone to have regular eye examinations. A complete eye exam will determine not only your prescription for glasses or contacts, but also checks your eyes for common eye diseases, assesses how your eyes work together and evaluates your eyes as an indicator for your overall health.
This document is provided for informational purposes only. Please consult an eye care professional about symptoms that may require medical attention and may or may not be covered by your medical plan and/or routine vision plan.