What Is the Difference Between Nearsighted and Farsighted?

A young woman is being examined by an optometrist for the difference between nearsightedness and farsightedness.

More than 40% of the United States population needs prescription glasses. It’s estimated that one-third of the world’s population’s nearsighted. It’s more common to be nearsighted than farsighted, but both can lead to further eye complications down the road.

However, what’s the difference between nearsighted and farsighted?

It’s not uncommon to get the two confused with one another, as many people do. Knowing the difference and understanding what makes good eye health is essential, so you know when it’s time to see your eye doctor in Utah or an eye doctor in Idaho. In the guide below, you’ll discover our guide on everything you need to know about nearsightedness, farsightedness, and when it’s time to see an eye doctor.

Continue reading to learn more!

What’s Nearsightedness?

More than 150 million Americans suffer from refractive errors in their eyes. Nearsightedness is one of the most common refractive errors. If you’re nearsighted, then this means you’re unable to see things far away.

You can see things clearly when they’re close to your eyes because you have a near-sighted vision. Once an object gets further away from you, it might become blurry or challenging to see. Nearsightedness often happens when your eye is more lengthy than it should be or when the cornea is curved excessively.

If you’re nearsighted, then you might experience eyestrain and even headaches after trying to focus on an object that’s at a distance or after performing some type of task that might require you to use your far-distance vision for a long period of time. Nearsighted is also known as myopia.

What Are the Symptoms?

One of the main ways to tell if you’re suffering from nearsightedness is that you struggle to see objects far away. A few other symptoms could be having difficulty watching television, driving at night, and trouble reading a board when sitting in class or during a meeting. You might also notice eyestrain, eye tiredness, and headaches caused by the two after trying to look at objects at a distance.

What’s Farsightedness?

Farsightedness is another type of refractive error in the eye. It’s not as common as nearsightedness, but it’s still one of the top two refractive errors people suffer from. Being farsighted means, you’re able to see better at a far distance.

When trying to read or look at something up close, this is where your vision will tend to get blurry or unclear. You’ll have trouble focusing on objects that are close to your face and experience headaches after trying to focus on something up close for too long. Conducting prolonged tasks that require you to use your near-sighted vision will place great strain on your eyes and create agitation.

Farsightedness happens when the cornea isn’t curved enough. Farsighted is also known as hyperopia.

What Are the Symptoms?

Those who are farsighted often have a few vision problems, making the symptoms a bit confusing. For example, sometimes those who are farsighted can sometimes struggle with blurry vision even when looking at objects at a far distance. However, the common symptoms of being farsighted are as follows:

  • struggling to see when reading or using a computer
  • blurry vision when looking at nearby objects
  • burning and aching around the eye
  • eyestrain and headaches

The best way to determine if you do, in fact, have this refractive error is to see your eye doctor.

Which Is Better?

Ideally, you wouldn’t want to be nearsighted or farsighted. You’d want to have great vision no matter how far or close of a distance you’re looking. However, it might be better to be either farsighted or nearsighted, depending on your daily activities or the type of work you do.

For example, if you need to read or look at small or up-close details throughout the day, then being nearsighted might be better for you. On the other hand, if you drive for a living and need to see signs and other details at a distance, then it might be better to be farsighted. However, no matter what type of refractive error you suffer from, each is manageable.

The best step to take is to schedule an appointment with your local eye doctor. Your eye doctor will perform a series of tests on your eyes to determine if you’re nearsighted, farsighted, or experiencing any other type of eye issues. They’ll then discuss the best treatment for your unique situation.

Signs You Need Glasses

If any of these symptoms sound familiar to you, then it’s time to schedule an appointment with your local eye doctor. Once you see your eye doctor, you’ll have an eye exam done. When nearsighted, it’s common to take a visual acuity assessment test.

This is the test that displays numbers and letters in rows and in various sizes on the wall across from you. You’ll be asked to read off the letters or numbers while covering one eye at a time to determine the right prescription for you. If you’re farsighted, then you’ll need an eye health exam along with a refraction assessment.

If the tests conclude that you are farsighted, then further testing might be done to determine what your prescription should be.

Learning the Difference Between Nearsighted and Farsighted Starts Right Here

Although many people struggle to understand the difference between nearsighted and farsighted, learning about the two is easier than you might think. Use the helpful information given in this guide above to help you better understand the two and which one you might be suffering from. If you believe you’re dealing with a refractive error, then don’t hesitate to contact Eye Pros.

We’re Idaho’s and Utah’s premier eye care clinic and contact lens provider. We perform professional eye exams for eyeglasses and contact lenses. We also provide a variety of other eye care services.

Schedule an appointment today to see how we can help you!