The difference between long and short-sighted is a frequently asked question.
Short-sightedness is by far the most common vision problem in the world. It is thought that by 2050, half the World’s population will be short-sighted and if that turns out to be true, we’re looking at around 5 billion people!
Long-sightedness is a smaller problem in terms of the number of people affected but both affect significantly vision.
If you’re short-sighted or myopic, then your eyes are set up to see near objects without any effort. In effect, the focusing power of the eyes is too strong so you can see objects close up but you need help to see in the distance.
This is why negatively powered lenses are required to improve distance vision – essentially we’re reducing the eyes’ focusing power to improve clarity for distance.
If you’re long-sighted or hypermetropic, the reverse is true, the eyes’ focusing power is set up for distance and so the main requirement is for reading. More power is required to focus on near objects and hence plus power lenses are required.
Long-sightedness can often be compensated for in our youth to some degree by the muscles in our eyes. However, as we age, this ability is reduced and by our mid-40’s reading glasses are required to help us to read.
In terms of treatment, both long-sightedness and short-sightedness can be treated with glasses or contact lenses. If you can’t tolerate or prefer not to wear glasses or contact lenses or don’t want to take the risks associated with lenses, then there are some surgical solutions available:
Thankfully, all the techniques on offer are safe, effective and more accurate than ever given the technological advancements in the last few years.
At Ophthalmic Consultants of London, we pride ourselves on offering the very best to our patients both in terms of our exemplary staff as well as the equipment and diagnostics that we use. We look forward to seeing you at the clinic soon.
Mr Romesh Angunawela answering whether laser eye surgery can be performed to treat long-sightedness.
Mr Ali Mearza answering whether laser eye surgery can be performed to treat short-sightedness (myopia).