Nearsighted or farsighted, which is which?

Ever wondered about the difference between nearsighted and farsighted? Well, you’ve come to the right place! Let’s get the basics down:

The nearsighted definition is a condition that makes it difficult for people to see in the distance.

The farsighted definition, on the other hand, is a condition that makes it difficult to see up close.

While these conditions can cause a person some issues with their vision, they’re nothing to be concerned with! Luckily, they’re both relatively treatable eye conditions. 





What is nearsighted?

A person with nearsightedness will find it difficult to see objects at a distance. Nearsightedness develops when the refractive power of the crystalline lens of the eye gets too strong, causing light to concentrate in front of the retina. As a response, light rays focus on an area between 24 and 30 cm away from the eye instead of on the retina directly. This makes distant objects appear blurry and out of focus, while nearer objects remain clear. 

Nearsightedness, or myopia, is produced by a mix of biological and environmental causes. It can develop gradually or suddenly and it usually worsens during infancy and adolescence. It can also be passed down through families. If you have nearsightedness, one or both of your parents most likely do as well. Your way of living may also be a factor in the disease. For example, if you do a lot of close-up activities with your eyes, like reading or working on a computer, you may develop nearsightedness.




What is farsighted?

A person with farsightedness is able to see distant objects more clearly than nearby objects. This can be caused by a misshapen cornea (the transparent layer at the front of the eye), or the eyeball being too small, resulting in a weakened focusing strength. These problems make it impossible for light to concentrate directly on the retina. Instead, light concentrates behind the retina, making close-up objects appear blurry.

Farsightedness is also known as hyperopia and most individuals are born with it, but it may not be noticeable or cause vision problems until they become older. While there is no obvious pattern of direct inheritance, having a first-degree family member with the condition (such as siblings or parents) increases your risk.




How to determine if you’re farsighted vs nearsighted?

To determine whether you’re nearsighted vs farsighted, you have to first understand a few key distinctions. 

Nearsighted symptoms include:

  • Blurry vision while looking at far objects
  • Need to squint or partially close the eyelids to see properly
  • Headaches caused by eyestrain
  • Difficulty seeing when driving a car

Farsighted symptoms include:

  • Need to strain eyes to see anything up close
  • Blurry vision while looking at close-up text or objects
  • Achy or burning sensation around eyes
  • Headaches after reading or performing tasks that require up-close focus




Ready to do a quick test to determine if you’re nearsighted or farsighted? 

To begin, take a few minutes to rest your eyes by diverting your gaze from any devices or closing them for a short period of time. Then, try reading a few pages from a book. 

  • Do the words appear hazy? 
  • Do you get a headache as a result of it? 

If you said yes, you might be farsighted. 

Now, try staring at anything in the distance from approximately 10 feet away. For example, a street sign or a picture on a wall. 

  • Are you having trouble seeing words and images?
  • Can you see them well enough to read or differentiate them? 

If you said yes, you might be nearsighted. 

If you have trouble seeing objects both close and far away, you may be both nearsighted and farsighted. This is possible if each of your eyes develops its own condition. In fact, each eye can be nearsighted or farsighted to varying degrees.







Is it better to be nearsighted or farsighted?

Understanding the difference between being nearsighted and farsighted includes acknowledging that neither is worse and it all relies on the degree of the condition. 

Being nearsighted may be easier if you frequently need to notice little details, such as when working in an office. On the other hand, if you frequently need to view far objects, such as while driving, being farsighted may be more convenient.

Luckily, both conditions are manageable and can be readily corrected with prescription glasses.


Need help correcting your nearsighted or farsighted vision? We can help you buy glasses online easily! Choose your frame, add your prescription and we’ll do the rest!