If you’re short-sighted (myopic), you will have trouble seeing objects at a distance.
Your vision is clear when you look at things up close, but further away objects become out of focus or blurred. This can affect your vision when you are driving, playing sports or trying to recognise people and objects in the distance. This in turn can lead to eyestrain, headaches and fatigue.
Short-sightedness (myopia) occurs when your eye is too long from front to back or your cornea’s curve is too steep. As a result, light focuses in front of the retina, making objects in the distance appear blurred.
You can become short-sighted at any age, but it usually starts around puberty. It's unusual for it to occur after the age of thirty, but older people with cataracts can become short-sighted.
If you are long-sighted (hyperopic), you can see objects clearly at a distance but find it hard to focus on things close to you. In more severe cases, it can be difficult to focus on objects at any distance. Long-sightedness (hyperopia) can interfere with day-to-day activities, such as reading, writing and other precise, close-up tasks. This can lead to eyestrain, headaches and fatigue.
Long-sightedness occurs when the eye is too short from front to back, or the cornea’s curve is too shallow. Light is then focused behind the retina instead of on it, resulting in blurred vision.
Some children are born long-sighted, but their vision usually corrects itself as their eyes develop. Adults can become long-sighted, which is often more noticeable as they approach middle age.
Additionally there is another long-sightedness, which is age-related and is called presbyopia.
Diagnosing short-sightedness and long-sightedness
How short-sighted or long-sighted you are depends on the distance your vision starts to blur. This is measured when you have an eye test. The test results will determine your prescription for glasses or contact lenses.
If you suspect you are short-sighted or long-sighted, you should visit an eye care practitioner for a professional eye test. Here is the list of the eye-practitioners in South Africa.
Contact lenses for short-sightedness and long-sightedness
Most people who are short-sighted or long-sighted can correct their vision with contact lenses. These contact lenses are shaped to direct light to your retina, so you can see people and objects clearly at all distances.