At Total Eyecare in Elko, Nevada one of the most common types of vision problems we diagnose and treat are refractive disorders, which happen when the visual images entering the eye do not focus directly on the light-sensitive retina, leading to blurry vision. Refractive errors typically occur due to changes or abnormalities in the shape of a person's eye or cornea, and may be caused by genetics, eye strain, and/or overuse.
Two specific refractive disorders that we see in our patients include hyperopia (farsightedness) and myopia (nearsightedness). Both can lead to complications including blurry vision, eye strain, headaches, eye fatigue, and squinting behaviors. The difference is whether vision is affected at a distance or close proximity.
What is Farsightedness?
With farsightedness, or hyperopia, light enters the eye and becomes focused on a point behind the retina. With this type of refractive error, a person has difficulty seeing things up close, but can see objects clearly that are farther away. People with farsightedness often have "shorter" eyeballs or flattened corneas.
What is Nearsightedness?
Nearsightedness, clinically known as myopia, is a very common type of refractive disorder. In this case, light that enters the eye becomes focused on a spot in front of the retina. A nearsighted person can clearly see objects that are close by, but has difficulty seeing objects that are far away. People with nearsightedness tend to have "longer" eyeballs.
How are Farsightedness and Nearsightedness Diagnosed?
To diagnose a refractive disorder, an optometrist must conduct a thorough eye examination that includes a patient history interview, assessment of the internal eye structures, and visual acuity tests. A person may develop difficulty with their vision at any stage in life. Often times, a parent or teacher may suspect that a child is having vision problems because he or she complains of headaches or difficulty focusing in school. It's important to have an annual eye exam by an optometrist at any age, however, because our eyes can change based on various factors as we develop and grow older.
How Can An Optometrist Help With My Farsightedness or Nearsightedness?
The goal of optometry care in the management of hyperopia and myopia is to correct visual focusing problems and improve a person's ability to comfortably function in his or her day-to-day life. The exact type of treatment an eye doctor provides will depend on the type and severity of the refractive disorder. At Total Eyecare in Elko, Nevada our optometrists create individualized intervention plans for our patients living with refractive errors, with potential treatments including:
- Prescription eyewear, either glasses or contacts
- Refractive surgery (like Lasik surgery)
- Medicated eye drops
Consult Our Elko, Nevada Optometrists Today
Elko optometrists Dr. Colon, Dr. Alleman, and Dr. Curtis are committed to improving the eye health of all their patients--young and old. For your eye care needs, be sure to visit Total Eyecare for quality, comprehensive, and cost-effective service. To schedule an eye exam or to learn more about the conditions we treat, including hyperopia and myopia, call us today at (775) 738-8491.