Checking your vision

Checking your vision

Eye Illustration

Illustration of the Eye

Your Vision

It’s estimated that fewer than half of all people have naturally perfect vision, also called 20/20 vision.

Myopia, or nearsightedness, is one of the most common problems people have with their eyes. It’s when you’re only able to focus well on things that are near to you and things far away are not clear. People with myopia have eyes that are a little longer than normal, measuring from the front of the eyeball to the back. This extra length means that light focuses slightly in front of the retina instead of on it, and that small error affects vision. This condition is easily corrected with glasses or contact lenses.

Hyperopia, or farsightedness, is when people can only focus well on things that are far away and have trouble seeing things clearly close up because their eyes are too “short” from front to back. With hyperopia, light focuses behind the retina instead of on it, causing blurry vision. Glasses or contact lenses can easily correct this condition.

Astigmatism occurs when the cornea or crystalline lens isn’t perfectly round, or when the degree of curvature of the two is different. Astigmatism causes vision to be blurry both close up and far away. In many cases, this condition can often be corrected with glasses or contact lenses.

Protecting the health and safety of your eyes is very important. Some of the ways to help promote a lifetime of good vision are to avoid dangerous situations that could injure your eyes and to wear protective eyewear whenever appropriate, avoid prolonged exposure to UV rays, maintain good nutrition and hygiene habits, and visit your eye doctor regularly for eye examinations. Getting proper care for eye infections such as conjunctivitis (also called pink eye) is important too. If you experience red, sore, itchy, or burning eyes or encrusted or swollen eyelids, you may have an infection and should see an eye doctor for immediate care.

Your vision could also be at higher risk than normal if you have high blood pressure, diabetes, or any family history of eye disease. If you’re at higher risk, be sure to take special care of your eyes and have regular eye exams. And if you ever notice any change in your vision or experience any kind of injury to your eyes, see a doctor right away.