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Health

Myopia, Hypermetropia, Astigmatism…what does it all mean?

Visual health is essential! That is why we recommend yearly eye exams. This is especially important if you have been struggling to see near or far. Your optometrist can help you see by prescribing the proper lens  to correct your vision, whether you are myopic, hypermetropic or have astigmatism. But, what exactly do these scientific terms actually mean and, how do they alter your eyesight?

Myopia
Myopia, also known as nearsightedness, means that your eyes can see objects that are close but distant objects are blurry. Basically, myopia is a refractive error, caused by either the eyeball being too long or the cornea having too much curvature, which does not allow enough light to be focused on the retina, the sensory layer of the eye. 

This very common condition, affects approximately 30% of the Canadian population. Typically, it develops early on, starting in childhood and generally increases until the age of twenty. The cause may be hereditary or it can simply appear spontaneously. 

Hypermyopia
Hypermyopia, often referred to, as farsightedness is, contrary to myopia, a condition that blurs objects that are close. Although this may sound a little like the symptoms of presbyopia, it is a very different. Presbyopia  is an age-related condition in which the lens of the eye becomes less flexible, whereas with hyperopia, the eyeball is too short or the cornea has an abnormal shape, which does not allow a focused image to reach the retina. 

Being farsighted is hereditary. It causes your eyes to exert extra effort in order to see near and far. It may lead to eyestrain, sore eyes, fatigue and/or headaches. Symptoms can be avoided with regular visits to your optometrist. During the eye exam, the optometrist will be able to determine the refractive error and prescribe the corrective lenses.

Astigmatism
Astigmatism is a vision condition that generally develops with myopia and/or hyperopia. It too is a refractive error. This is generally due to an irregular or cylindrical shaped cornea or lens that fails to provide the proper focus to the retina, leading to blurred vision at all distances. If the astigmatism is significant, it can cause distorted vision, ocular discomfort and headaches.

This is genetic condition but can develop after an eye injury or eye surgery. It is known to affect people early in life, hence the importance of early eye exams in developing children. In most cases prescription glasses will correct this vision issue, but in serious cases, it may require a corneal transplant.

The general fix for all three conditions is glasses or contact lenses! So, if you find yourself experiencing blurred vision while driving or if you are having difficulty seeing the blackboard in class, it is time to get your eyes checked! Your eye doctor will be able to determine your exact vision problem and prescribe the optically corrected lenses or suggest laser surgery depending on your precise needs to help you see clearly at any distance. 

See your IRIS professionals today and experience better vision!

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