For explanations of more eye disorders, please visit our eye conditions page. Commonly-known eye conditions are described here.
What is nearsightedness and farsightedness?
Myopia (commonly known as “nearsightedness”) is a common condition caused by having an eyeball that has grown too long. This causes distant objects to be blurry while near objects remain clear. About 30% of Canadians suffer from myopia, which can be mild or severe. Studies suggest myopia is at least partly hereditary, and it is believed that the risk of myopia increases with excessive near use (such as working on a computer or reading too closely) early in life. Onset typically happens during grade school age and typically stops developing further at age 20-25, though of course individual experiences may vary.
Hyperopia (commonly known as “farsightedness”) is also a common condition. It is caused by having an eyeball that is too short, which causes distant objects to appear clear while near objects remain blurry. Symptoms include headaches when reading and writing closely, difficulty concentrating, and eye strain. While mild hyperopia may not need prescription eyewear, there are corrective lenses that can be used to treat hyperopia.
What is astigmatism?
Astigmatism refers to an irregularly-shaped cornea, causing blurry vision when seeing both near and far objects. Symptoms of significant astigmatism include headaches, blurred vision, and pain and discomfort. While mild astigmatism usually does not warrant prescription eyewear, more serious astigmatism may require treatment.
What is glaucoma?
Glaucoma is caused by loss of tissue and damage to the optic nerve, whose role is to pass relay visual information to the brain. Unfortunately, vision lost to glaucoma is not recoverable, and this disease is not preventable, but if detected early, effective treatments can be used. It is believed that diabetes, thin corneas, family history, and certain medications increase your risk of developing glaucoma.
Why do I see floaters and is this a bad sign?
Vitreous floaters are specks and particles you may see floating in the middle of your vision. They’re usually small, clear, and may look like little worms. Most floaters are harmless and simply appear as we age. However, they may also be a symptom of a more serious condition, so if you are concerned, talk to your optometrist.
Why are my eyes so dry?
Dry eyes can come from a myriad of causes, from environmental to medical. If you experience pain, stinging, burning, or the feeling of something stuck in your eye, talk to an optometrist to find the cause and an effective treatment.