Skip Navigation
Search Menu

Wilmer Eye Institute
 
Print This Page
Share this page: More
 

Nearsightedness, Farsightedness and Astigmatism

Nearsightedness, Farsightedness and Astigmatism

Nearsightedness (myopia) is a very common condition in which the light coming into the eye is not focused properly onto the retina, making it difficult to see objects far away. The condition is usually caused by an elongation of the eyeball that occurs over time. Farsightedness (hyperopia) is the opposite of myopia, and is usually caused by shortening of the eyeball.

Astigmatism is an imperfection of the cornea preventing part of it from focusing light onto the retina. The result is a blurred area within an otherwise clear image. This problem may occur along with either myopia or hyperopia. These frequent conditions are termed "refractive errors."

Diagnosis:

The common method of measuring vision loss is the Snellen Test Chart, the familiar rows of increasingly smaller letters. Wilmer ophthalmologists also diagnose a decline in vision using refraction and retinoscopy and, when necessary, automated computerized devices.

Treatment:

Wilmer optometrists and ophthalmologists prescribe eyeglasses and contact lenses to compensate for most refractive errors. In addition, newer techniques actually change the curved shape of the cornea, causing it to focus light directly onto the retina, thus producing a clear image. The techniques performed at Wilmer include Automated Lamellar Keratectomy (ALK), Radial Keratotomy (RK), Excimer Laser Photo Refractive Keratectomy (PRK), and LASIK - a combination of ALK and excimer laser surgery currently undergoing investigation. Wilmer physicians participated in the development of the excimer laser, which they have used since 1990. With it, Wilmer physicians can remove a thin layer of the cornea to sculpt its shape to reduce or correct the refractive error. This new technique is approved for persons 18 years of age and older with specified types of nearsightedness.

In RK, the surgeon makes a series of incisions in the cornea, producing a spokelike pattern of cuts that flattens the tissue, causing light to be focused on the retina instead of in front of it. A 10-year, multicenter study of RK found that it safely and effectively reduces a person's dependence on eyeglasses or contact lenses.

> Treated by the Wilmer Optometry & Contact Lens ServiceLaser Vision Center, and
   Comprehensive Eye Service

Sanford Greenberg Elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Dr. Neil Bressler Speaks at Senate Briefing on Special Diabetes Program- 06/09/16

Dr. Neil Bressler Discusses Blue Light Effects on the Eyes in the Washington Post- 06/02/16

Dr. Arevalo Honored by National Institute of Ophthalmology in Peru- 5/31/16

Dr. Jennifer Thorne Appointed President-elect of American Uveitis Society- 5/17/16

Dr. Ingrid Zimmer-Galler Elected to the ATA College of Fellows- 5/13/16

Dr. Arevalo Launches New Book at ARVO 2016- 5/09/16

Dr. Elia J. Duh is elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation- 4/28/16

Dr. Maria Valeria Canto Soler Wins BrightFocus Award for Macular Degeneration Research- 4/27/16

Three Wilmer Faculty Voted Most Influential in Field of Ophthalmology- 4/22/2016

Dr. Pradeep Ramulu Wins Pisart Award for Significant Achievement in Vision Science Research- 4/21/16

Dr. Eghrari Receives Alcon Early Career Research Award- 4/13/16

Dr. Quigley Honored by American Glaucoma Society- 4/11/16

Dr. Ian Pitha Awarded Grants for Glaucoma Research- 4/11/16

READ MORE NEWS HERE