The importance of wearing sunglasses for eye health

The difference between myopia and hyperopia

27 Feb 2022

Myopia and hyperopia stand today as two of the most common refractive eye problems. These conditions affect the eye's ability to focus light on the retina, which is a light-sensitive cell located at the back of your eyes. The retina is responsible for passing signals between your eyes and your brain causing you to see things. So, if the light didn’t enter the retina properly, the message won’t be sent correctly and you will see blurry images.

Although myopia and hyperopia are both considered to be refractive eye errors, they have several differences. Here’s what you need to know about the difference between myopia and hyperopia eyes conditions.

How does the Healthy Eye work?

In the healthy eye, the light rays will enter the pupil, passing through the cornea and lens, then focused on the retina, which is at the back of your eye. These focused light rays will be transmitted to your brain correctly making you see a clear image. However, if the light, for some reason, didn’t focus on the retina correctly, you will not be able to see images clearly.

In addition to that, you should know that your eyes lens should be flexible. This means that the circular muscles surrounding the lens will constrict when focusing on near objects or relax when looking at further things. This flexibility is important to your vision clarity as well as focusing power.

What is Myopia?

Myopia is known as the most common refractive eye condition all over the world, yet so many people didn’t hear about it. You may know it by another term (nearsightedness).

Myopia happens if the light has refracted by the cornea and landed in front of the retina. This case usually occurs when the eyeball had grown too long relative to its focusing ability.

Patients who suffer from myopia cannot see far objects clearly such as street roads, they would appear blurry. However, they would be able to see close-up objects such as books and smartphones clearly without using any glasses.

What Is Hyperopia?

Also known as farsightedness, hyperopia is basically the opposite of myopia. This means that patients who suffer from hyperopia have short eyeballs, which will cause the light to be refracted behind their retina.  As in myopia, the retina will receive incorrect messages, making your vision blurred.

However, in this case, patients will be able to see far objects clearly, but the near objects will look blurry to them.  

Symptoms of Myopia and Hyperopia

Despite the difference between myopia and hyperopia; these two conditions have some similar symptoms, such as:

  • Blurred vision depends on the condition you have, as we have discussed above.
  • Eye fatigue.
  • Eye discomfort includes burning and irritation in your eyes.

Myopia, symptoms usually start in your childhood but they can also develop at any age. While Hyperopia symptoms are usually present at birth and depend more on your genes.

Treatment of Myopia and Hyperopia

 You may know that myopia and hyperopia can have a big impact on the ease of patients’ daily life. This may include some usual activities, such as working, exercising, and driving. Of course, it is illegal to drive if you have these vision problems without treatment.

If you suffer from the symptoms above, we recommend visiting an eye doctor to get an eye exam. Doctors will determine the right treatment for your case, which will usually be wearing prescription glasses. These glasses will ensure that the light reaches the retina in the right way, which means your brain will get a clear and correct message.

Of course, your condition severity may change over time, that’s why it is very important to update your prescription once every two years maximum. We should also mention that leaving these conditions without treatment may increase the risk of developing serious eye conditions, such as glaucoma, cataracts, and macular degeneration.

The difference between Myopia and Hyperopia

We can summarize the differences between these two conditions in the table below:





Elongated eyeball or curved cornea.

Short eyeball or flattened cornea.

Formed image

A blurry vision of distant objects, while closer objects look clear.

A blurry vision of nearby objects, while distant objects look clear.

Eyeball shape

Too long

Too short


A concave lens of appropriate focal length.

A convex lens of appropriate focal length.

Associated complications

glaucoma and cataracts.

amblyopia and strabismus, and double vision