When it comes to common vision disorders, myopia and hyperopia are often confused. In the article, we’ll dive deep into these distinct vision impairments, understand their distinctive characteristics, and explore current treatment modalities.
Understanding Myopia and Hyperopia
Myopia, also referred to as nearsightedness, is a vision condition whose symptoms are blurry distance vision. This is a result of the eye growing too long from front to back leading to blurry vision when looking at faraway objects.
On the other hand, hyperopia, or farsightedness, is the opposite. Distant objects are clear, but those up close appear blurry. This condition occurs when the eye is too short from front to back,
or the cornea is too flat, leading to light focusing behind the retina.
Diagnosis and Differences
The diagnosis of both conditions involves scheduling a routine eye exam – especially one trained to spot myopia like the doctors at Treehouse Eyes. These exams include visual acuity tests, refraction assessments, and eye health evaluations. Be sure that your eyecare provider is measuring your child’s axial length to ensure an accurate diagnosis of myopia. Axial length will measure how long the eye is front to back.
Notably, the critical difference between myopia and hyperopia lies in their distinct symptoms and the way they affect vision. People with myopia often have difficulty viewing road signs, and whiteboards, or watching a movie at a cinema or at home. In contrast, those with hyperopia may struggle with tasks like reading, using a smartphone, doing homework, and other times where closer vision is necessary.
Fortunately, both myopia and hyperopia are manageable with several treatment options. The key for both, but especially myopia, is early detection and treatment. Myopia is a disease that typically develops in children (ages 6 – 12) and continues through puberty until the child stops growing. This can sometimes be well into adulthood (25 years old in some cases) which is why early treatment and prevention are key to slowing or stopping the progression of myopia.
For children, orthokeratology, or Ortho-K, is a potential treatment. It involves the use of specially designed gas-permeable contact lenses that temporarily reshape the cornea to help treat your childs myopia. Recent studies suggest that certain types of multifocal contact lenses may slow the progression of myopia in children. Furthermore, low-dose atropine eye drops have shown promising results in minimizing the advancement of myopia.