The difference between hypermetropia and myopia - OCL Vision

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Difference between long-sightedness (hypermetropia) and short-sightedness (myopia)

Posted: May 12 2020

The difference between long and short-sighted is a frequently asked question.

Short-sightedness is by far the most common vision problem in the world. It is thought that by 2050, half the World’s population will be short-sighted and if that turns out to be true, we’re looking at around 5 billion people!

Long-sightedness is a smaller problem in terms of the number of people affected but both affect significantly vision.


If you’re short-sighted or myopic, then your eyes are set up to see near objects without any effort. In effect, the focusing power of the eyes is too strong so you can see objects close up but you need help to see in the distance.

This is why negatively powered lenses are required to improve distance vision – essentially we’re reducing the eyes’ focusing power to improve clarity for distance.

myopia diagram


If you’re long-sighted or hypermetropic, the reverse is true, the eyes’ focusing power is set up for distance and so the main requirement is for reading. More power is required to focus on near objects and hence plus power lenses are required.

Long-sightedness can often be compensated for in our youth to some degree by the muscles in our eyes. However, as we age, this ability is reduced and by our mid-40’s reading glasses are required to help us to read.

hyperopia diagram

Treatment Options for Long-Sightedness and Short-Sightedness

In terms of treatment, both long-sightedness and short-sightedness can be treated with glasses or contact lenses. If you can’t tolerate or prefer not to wear glasses or contact lenses or don’t want to take the risks associated with lenses, then there are some surgical solutions available:

  • Laser Eye Surgery – This is the most common elective procedure in the World for
    vision correction. The techniques used nowadays are highly effective, extremely
    accurate and ultra-safe. Find out more about laser eye surgery here
  • Refractive Lens Exchange – This is typically performed if you are over 50 years of age
    and involves replacing the natural lens with a replacement lens – usually a multifocal
    lens to allow for good vision for distance as well as for near. This technique is similar
    to cataract surgery and is used if laser eye surgery is not an option
  • Implantable Collamer (contact) Lens – This procedure is used for individuals with
    very high prescriptions in the under 50 age group where laser surgery is not an

Thankfully, all the techniques on offer are safe, effective and more accurate than ever given the technological advancements in the last few years.

At OCL Vision, we pride ourselves on offering the very best to our patients both in terms of our exemplary staff as well as the equipment and diagnostics that we use. We look forward to seeing you at the clinic soon.

Looking for more information on what sets our laser eye surgery apart? Our laser eye surgery brochure contains all the information you need. View our brochure page to receive your free download.

Visit our brochure page

Mr Romesh Angunawela answering whether laser eye surgery can be performed to treat long-sightedness.

Mr Ali Mearza answering whether laser eye surgery can be performed to treat short-sightedness (myopia).

If you suffer from hypermetropia or myopia and would like to discuss potential treatment options, or make an enquiry, please call us on 0203 369 2020

Make an enquiry

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