Common Vision Terms Explained
Myopia & Hyperopia of Farsighted & Nearsighted
Myopia is the medical term that is used to describe being nearsighted. Being nearsighted is a more commonly used optometry term which more people may have heard. It means that a person can see up close but has a problem seeing objects at a distance.
Hyperopia is the medical term used to describe being farsighted. Being farsighted is the opposite of being nearsighted. It means that you can see things at a distance but have a problem viewing objects up close.
Presbyopia is one of the more common vision terms. And, unfortunately, most people will hear their optometrist use the term to describe their vision at some point in their lifetime. Presbyopia is when a person starts to have trouble focusing up close. It is caused by the natural aging of the eye. It usually starts to affect people in their early forties and fifties.
Astigmatism is also one of the more common vision terms which people know or hear during their eye exam. Astigmatism can occur with other vision conditions, such as myopia, hyperopia, and presbyopia. Astigmatism is a vision problem that occurs because parts of the eye, such as the cornea or crystalline lens aren’t round but shaped more like an egg or football. This causes the light to focus on different parts of the back of the eye, instead of one sharp point. Most people can have astigmatism corrected with glasses or contact lenses.
Strabismus or Eye Turn
Strabismus is often referred to by most people as an eye turn or being cross-eyed. When a person has strabismus, their eyes don’t align at the same time as they are supposed to function. With strabismus, one or both eyes might turn in, out, up or down.
Amblyopia or Lazy Eye
Amblyopia is most well known as a lazy eye. It occurs when vision doesn’t develop properly due to a misunderstanding between the eye and brain. It starts when a child is an infant and results in a decrease in vision within the amblyopic or “lazy” eye. Amblyopia can often be corrected if caught in the early stages. It is sometimes hard to detect. That is why it is important to have a child’s eyes and eye health during infancy.
If during an eye exam, you don’t understand any of the vision terms which your doctor is talking about, please ask for an explanation or clarity. It is important to know about your eyes and vision!
We love helping and taking care of our patients and all of their vision needs. If you are in need of an eye exam, please call our office at (403)255-2826 or book an appointment online, in real-time here!
This article was written by Trina Vanaalst, registered contact lens practitioner, and licensed optician.