Besides astigmatism, nearsightedness and farsightedness are the most common eye conditions. To help you navigate the QUAY differences between them, we've rounded up this guide with all the deets. Plus, we'll go over how you can order your fave QUAYRx frames to serve some looks — read ahead to learn how to keep your vision and style on point.
HOW DO I TELL THE DIFFERENCE IF I AM NEARSIGHTED OR FARSIGHTED?
The QUAY difference between nearsightedness and farsightedness comes down to which objects you see more clearly. When you’re nearsighted, objects that are near you appear more clearly than ones far away. If you’re farsighted, the opposite is true; objects far away appear more clearly than nearby ones.
Wondering if you might be nearsighted or farsighted? Try looking at objects nearby and far away. Here’s a quick + easy test you can try: First, rest your eyes for a few minutes by closing them or keeping them away from your screens. Then, try looking at pages in a book — if you notice blur, you may be experiencing farsightedness. After, try looking at a street sign or poster about 10 feet away. If you struggle to make out the words or shapes, you might be nearsighted.
But how do you know for sure? The best way to know whether you're nearsighted or farsighted is to go to an eye care professional for a standard eye exam. At your appointment, your optometrist or ophthalmologist can also give you a glasses or contacts prescription. Addressing any vision issues you may have will allow you to live with more ease as you see things clearly; in the case of driving, it will even impact your safety.
WHAT IS MYOPIA?
Nearsightedness, AKA myopia, is when you can see objects near you clearly but struggle with blurry vision when you focus on objects that are far away. Essentially, your eye shape makes it so that light bends incorrectly and focuses images in front of rather than on your retina. This is typically due to the eyeball being longer than usual or the cornea being too curved. Myopia can be due to both genetics and lifestyle.
The main symptom of nearsightedness is blurry vision when looking at objects that are far away. Other potential things to flag include the need to squint to look at things, eyestrain headaches, and issues with seeing when driving. When correcting nearsightedness, your myopia glasses power will be a negative number.
CAUSES FOR CONCERN
Nearsightedness is very common, so it’s usually no cause for concern. In fact, many people are diagnosed with it as children, and it’s estimated that 40% of Americans are myopic. But if left untreated, it can make daily activities such as reading signs and posters hard. Nearsightedness can even be dangerous if you struggle to see faraway traffic signs while driving.
One concerning form of nearsightedness is degenerative myopia, a progressive condition that's a leading cause of legal blindness. Though this condition only impacts 2% of the population, it’s worth discussing with your doctor if you have any concerns.
WHAT IS HYPEROPIA?
Farsightedness, AKA hyperopia, is when you can see faraway objects clearly but struggle to see nearby objects. It usually happens because your eyeball shape is shorter than usual or your cornea isn't curved enough. Light rays will focus behind the retina instead of on it, and you will see faraway objects more clearly than close by things.
Other symptoms of farsightedness are similar to nearsightedness. You might need to squint, experience headaches, or have eyestrain when focusing on objects nearby. Like nearsightedness, it can be a condition from birth and often runs in families. Farsightedness, however, is less common, only affecting around five to 10 percent of Americans. It's possible to be nearsighted in one eye and farsighted in the other — this is called anisometropia. When correcting farsightedness, your hyperopia glasses power will be a positive number.
CAUSES FOR CONCERN
If left untreated, farsightedness can make day-to-day activities such as reading tricky. Plus, it's dangerous if you’re driving and struggling to operate your car because you can't see the controls. Farsightedness, especially in children, can also be associated with lazy eyes, misaligned eyes, and learning problems. It’s best to consult an eye care professional about these potential issues.
WHAT DOES "NORMAL VISION" MEAN?
"Normal vision" is when light focuses on the retina instead of in front of it or behind it. 20/20 vision means that you can see clearly at 20 feet what people would, on average, normally see at that distance. 20/20 vision measures sharpness at a distance, but it’s not the only part of your vision to consider. Other aspects of eye health include peripheral vision, hand-eye coordination, depth perception, and color vision.
HOW ARE THESE CONDITIONS DIAGNOSED?
EYE EXAMS — WHO SHOULD GET THEM?
Practicing safe specs means getting routine eye exams. Eye exams are great for gauging your general eye health if you think you might be nearsighted or farsighted. Your doctor can also check for eye diseases such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, and other potential issues. After an eye exam, your optometrist or ophthalmologist can help you come up with a plan to address potential issues. In many cases, you’ll leave with a prescription for glasses or contact lenses.
HOW FREQUENTLY SHOULD YOU GET AN EYE EXAM?
If you have a history of eye conditions in your family, consider getting an eye exam every year or two. Those with eyeglass prescriptions should also consider getting eye exams annually to renew their prescriptions. Eyeglass prescriptions have expiration dates and are usually usable for one to two years. The expiration date is the last day you can buy new glasses or replacement lenses with that Rx. After the expiration date has passed, you’ll want to book an appointment for another eye exam to update your prescription.
WHERE CAN I GET AN EYE EXAM?
You can make an appointment for an eye exam with your optometrist or ophthalmologist. Your eye care professional will perform a basic eye exam and determine if you have any myopia or hyperopia in your eyes, in addition to flagging any other potential eye issues. At the end of the exam, they’ll give you a glasses prescription — that's what you would input at checkout after picking out your fave head-turning QUAYRx glasses.
HOW TO TREAT THESE CONDITIONS
While you can treat nearsightedness and farsightedness with surgery, glasses and contacts are the most standard solutions. Talk to your eye doctor to figure out the best option for your health and lifestyle.
Glasses are commonly used to correct nearsightedness and farsightedness — and they don't have to be boring. At QUAY, we’re all about the specs, and you can get both prescription glasses and sunglasses from our QUAYRx collection. QUAY specs have all the werks (including your prescription) with no add-on costs, and you can even get Rx shades for catching those sunsets. Starting at $185, all of our prescription sunnies feature anti-reflection, high-index lenses, UV protection, and scratch resistance. Starting at $125, our clear prescription glasses also come with smudge-resistance and blue light filtering technology.
Always on the go? Contacts offer a wide field of focused vision and can be great for an active lifestyle since they don't get in the way of exercise or fog up. That said, contact wearers can be prone to eye irritations and infections if they don’t keep up with cleaning and maintaining their contacts. In contrast with glasses that can be taken on and off with ease, they require extra care, and long-term costs to replace them (especially if you have disposables) can rack up.
Whether you need vision correction for werk or play, it's good practice to keep backup glasses if any issues with your contacts pop up. (Plus, who can resist stylish ones?) If you’re over 40, you might want to wear your contacts with reading glasses due to presbyopia, an age-related condition in which it’s hard for the eyes to focus on objects that are close by. Contacts would help you with distance vision, whereas readers would help you with close ranges.
NEARSIGHTED VS. FARSIGHTED OVERVIEW
So here's the recap version of everything above. When it comes to common eye conditions, nearsightedness and farsightedness are two sides of the same coin. Nearsightedness is when your eyes can’t focus on objects that are far away, whereas farsightedness is when your eyes can't focus on nearby things; both are refractive errors typically due to eye shape. Though common, they can make daily life harder than it needs to be.
Thankfully, it’s easy to correct nearsightedness and farsightedness with specs. With a valid eyeglass prescription from your optometrist, pick out your fave QUAYRx frame to keep your vision in the clear.
This blog post has been peer reviewed by Ryan Boydon, licensed Optician.