What It Means to Be Myopic vs. Hyperopic

March 31, 2023


If you or someone you know has been in an optometrist’s office, you may have heard the terms myopic or hyperopic. These terms are opposites of one another and are extremely common in the world of optometry, but what do they mean?

OOMC is here to dig into myopia and hyperopia. Come with us and learn more about these common terms for eye conditions.

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What Is Myopia?

Myopia is the medical term for nearsightedness. It’s considered a refractive error within the eye. Uncorrected myopic vision causes eyes to struggle to view objects at a distance.

Myopia usually occurs when the eyeball is too long. Due to the length, light that enters the eye focuses on a point in front of the retina, rather than on it.

Myopia can also occur if the curvature of the eye’s cornea is too severe. This throws off the focus of the eye, causing nearsightedness.

Symptoms of Myopia

The symptoms of myopia are easy to spot in adults and children. Myopia is the most common refractive error in children.

Those with myopia will be able to see objects up close. One of the most prominent symptoms of myopia is blurry vision when looking at distant objects.

People with myopia may squint to focus their eyes and view objects at a distance better. Parents may notice children sitting closer to the television or holding a book closer to their face.

Eyestrain and headaches are common symptoms due to trying to focus the eye without corrective assistance, like glasses or contact lenses.

What Is Hyperopia?

Hyperopia is the medical term for farsightedness. It’s a refractive error on the eye that causes objects at a distance to focus behind the retina.

Hyperopia can occur if the eyeball is too short. This can cause light to focus beyond the retina, rather than in it. Additionally, a cornea that does not have enough curvature can also cause hyperopia.

Those with hyperopic eyes can see better farther away than they can up close. Children with hyperopia are often able to compensate, leading to a diagnosis later in life.   

Symptoms of Hyperopia

While hyperopia can occur in younger children, it’s most often diagnosed in older children and adults. Young children’s eyes can compensate for a few years; however, once the eye ages, it’s less able to do so.

Hyperopic eyes can see objects further away more easily. This may lead to sitting further away from an object to view it better. Squinting is also common to help focus the eye on the object someone wants to see.

Without corrective lenses, contacts, or surgery, hyperopic eyes may also lead to eyestrain, headaches, and fatigue. In more serious hyperopic cases, you may also experience double vision or see halos around lights.

How Do You Treat Myopia and Hyperopia?

Myopia and hyperopia can be managed with several treatment methods, such as:

  • Prescription glasses
  • Contact lenses
  • Refractive surgery

An ophthalmologist or optometrist can fit a patient for glasses or contacts designed to correct the refraction issues in their eyes. Regular eye exams throughout a patient’s life can determine if vision has changed and if the prescription needs to be updated.

Myopia and hyperopia can also be corrected with LASIK or other refractive surgeries.

At OOMC, we’ll discuss with you and your optometrist to determine if you’re a good candidate for LASIK surgery.

When a patient has LASIK surgery at an OOMC practice, our doctors begin with an iDESIGN® scan, which produces a 3D map of your eye. Our surgeons will then consult this scan to determine their approach and your specific correction needs during LASIK surgery.

Learn More About Myopic and Hyperopic Treatment Options

As an industry leader, OOMC strives to provide a personal approach to your eye needs. We’ll work with you to develop a treatment plan that meets your unique requirements.

Find out about your treatment options, including LASIK, by booking a free consultation today.

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Here at OOMC, our patient’s well-being is our priority. Our dedicated team of surgeons and staff always makes an effort to create a safe and secure environment where you can easily access care comfortably and confidently.

Contact one of our centers nearest to you for further information.

Corneal Associates of New Jersey

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