News and Advice on Myopia and General Eye Care for Patients and Professionals

Nearsightedness and Farsightedness; What’s the Difference?

Paragon Vision December 26, 2019 Nearsighted, CRT Lenses, Contact Lenses, Orthokeratology, FDA Approved, Myopia, Ortho-K, optometrist, Eye Doctor, quality of life, corneal refractive therapy, CRT, vision, what is myopia, nearsightedness, eye health, vision health, eyes, health


How many people do you know who wear contacts or glasses? Globally, at least 2.2 billion people have a vision impairment or blindness, of whom at least 1 billion have a vision impairment that could have been prevented or has yet to be addressed.1 The number of people with visual impairment or blindness in the United States is expected to double to more than 8 million by 2050. Another 16.4 million Americans are expected to have difficulty seeing due to correctable refractive errors such as nearsightedness or farsightedness that can be fixed with glasses, contacts, or surgery.2

Nearsightedness is one of the most common vision impairments in the world.3 Nearsightedness is where distant objects appear blurry and out of focus. Another common condition is farsightedness, which is where close objects appear blurry. It can be easy to confuse these two conditions. Learn more about their differences and the details about these two widespread vision issues.

Struggle to See the Road Sign Up Ahead?

Nearsightedness, clinically known as myopia, typically begins at school age, which is six years old and onwards. The causes of myopia are both genetic and environmental. Increased urbanization and close-range activities such as reading, video games, computer use, and phone use are increasing the incidence of myopia.3

Due to the high visual demands of near work such as reading or tablet use, the tendency for nearsightedness to develop during the school years (the most time children spend in engaging in reading and other work) has long been considered to be a potential cause to myopia development.4 Nearsightedness is caused by the lengthening of the eye or by the cornea being too curved for the length of the eye.

Another environmental factor may be exposure to outdoor light as a child. Studies show outdoor activities can prolong the onset of nearsightedness.5 When a child is playing outside the intensity of natural daylight and vitamin D from sunshine is converted to dopamine in the eye. This may prolong the onset of myopia.6 Being outside also allows a child to view far distances, resulting in less demand to focus the eyes to see clearly.7

Treatment options for nearsightedness include:

  • -Eyeglasses
  • -LASIK (for adults)
  • -Contact Lenses
  • -Corneal Refractive Therapy

The most common treatments for nearsightedness are glasses and daytime contacts. LASIK is an option for eligible adults. There is a treatment you might not know about called Corneal Refractive Therapy (CRT). This option uses special overnight contact lenses. While you sleep the lenses gently correct the curvature of the cornea. This allows light to focus correctly on the retina. Remove the contacts in the morning and have clear vision that lasts all day without having to wear glasses or daytime contacts.

Paragon CRT® are overnight corneal refractive therapy contact lenses. They were the first FDA approved overnight orthokeratology lenses.8 Paragon CRT® Contact Lenses have a 97% satisfaction rating!9 What sets these contact lenses apart is the freedom you or your child will have during the day. No more broken glasses on the playground or a lost contact lens while you are out mountain biking or even snowboarding.

These contacts can only be prescribed by a Paragon CRT® certified eye doctor.  To find a doctor near you, use our find a doctor locator tool.

Find Yourself Holding Books or Your Phone Far Away from Your Face?

Farsightedness is clinically known as hyperopia. When farsighted, you can see distant objects clearly but near objects will be blurred. Hyperopia is caused by the eye becoming shorter than normal or when the cornea is too flat. Genetics is the main cause of farsightedness.10 Most infants are actually born with a mild degree of farsightedness, which goes away on its own as the eyes grow and develop. Children with a severe degree of farsightedness have an increased risk of developing eye conditions such as "lazy eye" (amblyopia) and eyes that do not look in the same direction (strabismus). These conditions can cause significant visual impairment.11

More commonly, older adults develop presbyopia. This is caused by the lens of the eye becoming thicker and less flexible with age and the muscles surrounding the lens weakens.

Repeated eye strain may increase the risk of developing farsightedness. However environmental factors for farsightedness have not been well-studied.9,12

There are many treatment options for both nearsightedness and farsightedness. For farsightedness here are ways to correct the symptoms:

  • -Eyeglasses
  • -Refractive surgery
  • -Contact Lenses

A Distinct Difference

Nearsightedness = being able to see closely, farsightedness = being able to see faraway. This may be one way to quickly remember the difference between these two vision conditions. However, after reading this blog, you now know more than just the general idea of what nearsightedness and farsightedness means. Whether you are nearsighted, farsighted, or have clear vision – we’d like to remind everyone to regularly visit their eye doctor! Ocular health is just as important at dental, mental, and overall physical health.


[1] Vision impairment and blindness. (2019, October 8). Retrieved December 10, 2019, from

[2] Varma, R., Vajaranant, T. S., Burkemper, B., Wu, S., Torres, M., Hsu, C., ... & McKean-Cowdin, R. (2016). Visual impairment and blindness in adults in the United States: demographic and geographic variations from 2015 to 2050. JAMA ophthalmology134(7), 802-809.

[3] Holden, B. A., T. R. Fricke, D. A. Wilson, M. Jong, K. S. Naidoo, P. Sankaridurg, T. Y. Wong, T. J. Naduvilath and S. Resnikoff (2016). "Global Prevalence of Myopia and High Myopia and Temporal Trends from 2000 through 2050." Ophthalmology 123(5): 1036-1042.

[4] Huang, H. M., Chang, D. S. T., & Wu, P. C. (2015). The association between near work activities and myopia in children—a systematic review and meta-analysis. PloS one10(10), e0140419.

[5] Xiong, S., Sankaridurg, P., Naduvilath, T., Zang, J., Zou, H., Zhu, J., Lv, M., He, X., … Xu, X. (2017). Time spent in outdoor activities in relation to myopia prevention and control: a meta-analysis and systematic review. Acta ophthalmologica95(6), 551-566.

[6]  X. Z., Pardue, M. T., Iuvone, P., & Qu, J. (2017). Dopamine signaling and myopia development: What are the key challenges. Progress in Retinal and Eye Research, 61, 60-71. Retrieved December 20, 2018, from!

[7] Flitcroft, D. I. (2012). The complex interactions of retinal, optical and environmental factors in myopia aetiology. Progress in Retinal and Eye Research, 31(6), 622-660. Retrieved December 20, 2018, from

[8] FDA Approval Letter

[9] Paragon Vision Sciences, Consumer Survey, Data on File, July 2019

[10] Boyd, K. (2018, March 20). Farsightedness: Causes of Hyperopia. Retrieved December 10, 2019, from

[11] Farsightedness - Genetics Home Reference - NIH. (2018, September). Retrieved from

[12] Computer Vision Syndrome. (n.d.). Retrieved from