Optometrist Explains: Are you farsighted, nearsighted or both?

Article by Chew’s Optics Specialist. 30 December 2022


This is how most of us find ourselves visiting the optometrist: We go about our day, happily unbothered by the state or health of our eyes, until we realise we can’t quite read the road signs. And shop signs, and billboards… Or perhaps you’re struggling to read what’s right in front of you – a book, a brochure. 

Finally, you admit to yourself that your eyesight isn’t what it used to be and that you might actually need some help. Besides swinging by your local optometrist in Singapore, it’s worth gaining some understanding of your eye condition too. 

In short, your vision isn’t just blurry. Here’s a primer to learning about whether you’re nearsighted, farsighted, or even possibly both, and what that means for you.

Farsighted vs Nearsighted: Which one are you?

We’ll spare you the lengthy elaborations and skip right to the chase. If there’s one thing you need to know about the differences between farsightedness and nearsightedness, it’s this: As hinted by their names, being farsighted means that you find it hard to focus on objects near you, whereas nearsightedness (more commonly referred to as myopia) makes distant objects look blurry.

A Closer Look at Farsightedness

Being farsighted can feel like a strange phenomenon. How is it possible that faraway views seem crystal clear, but you can’t read what’s right in front of you? Although we don’t often talk about it, this defect is more common than you think. Research reveals that by 2005, over a billion individuals around the world had been affected by farsightedness and that this number might increase to 1.8 billion by 2050.

While it’s possible to be born with farsightedness, it’s more typical for individuals to develop this eye condition as a symptom of old age (also known as presbyopia). You should pay attention if you’ve reached the age of 40. Or if the following signs start to develop: 

  • Straining or squinting to see nearby objects
  • Getting a headache after reading or using the computer for a long time
  • Feeling aches in or around the eyes

A Peek at Nearsightedness

What’s more common among the masses is nearsightedness. In Singapore alone, about 65% of children aged 12 are myopic. This makes the prevalence of this condition in our country among the highest in the world. There could be a whole host of reasons why people develop myopia. But according to research, the real causes are still unclear. 

What we do know is that it’s an epidemic. Half the globe might become short-sighted by 2050, reports the Brien Holden Vision Institute. You might not even realise you’re nearsighted until it’s too late. This is because you probably think that distant objects are meant to be blurry, and you usually rely on looking at things up-close in your day-to-day life. 

Slowly but surely, however, the limit to how far you can see will start to change. And if this persists and your myopia is left untreated, it might lead to reduced vision.

Can you be both farsighted and nearsighted at the same time?

Not many know this, but the short answer is yes. It may manifest in the form of being nearsighted in one eye, and farsighted in the other – which can lead to the development of lazy eye. Another phenomenon is having varying degrees of myopia or presbyopia in each eye.

Now we may tout the benefits of taking eye breaks (by following the 20/20/20 rule) or adopting a healthier diet designed specifically for your eye health. Ultimately, however, we recommend consulting a professional optometrist in Singapore to treat your farsightedness and nearsightedness. This is even more important if you suspect you might have both, as you’ll need a highly tailored solution.  

Treating myopia and presbyopia

Head over to our optical shop and book a comprehensive eye exam with one of our certified optometrists at Chew’s Optics. We’ll make sure to treat your conditions – from myopia to presbyopia, and beyond – and provide you with an appropriate prescription that also suits your personal lifestyle preferences. Visit us at 144 Teck Whye Lane, #01-211. We’re open daily except Mondays. 

Have you got questions? Reach us at +65 8314 7093.

Visit Chew’s Optics, your neighbourhood optical one-stop shop, at 144 Teck Whye Lane, #01-211. We’re open daily except for Mondays. For further enquiries, contact us at +65 8314 7093.

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