Help and frequently asked questions

Which glasses should I wear for a long-sighted prescription and a short-sighted prescription?


Glasses are a common form of vision correction and countless people wear them every day to help their eyes focus correctly. Long-sightedness and short-sightedness are two common vision problems, so glasses must be adjusted to correct these conditions with prescriptions. These prescriptions are used to correct vision for people dealing with hypermetropia (long-sightedness) and myopia (short-sightedness).

Which glasses are best for a long-sighted prescription?

Hypermetropia, or long-sightedness, is a common problem that affects about 5 to 10 per cent of the population. It can be more common in those whose parents have the condition, or it can occur by itself.It occurs when there is a refractive problem in the eye, which means the eye doesn't correctly bend light, so the light does not hit the retina at the back of the eye as it should. In hypermetropia, the light rays are focused behind the retina, rather than on the retina. The result is that objects at a close proximity appear blurred, while objects at a long range are clear. If not immediately obvious, the eye will automatically try to refocus, which can lead to soreness and headaches over time, which is a strong indicator that there is a vision issue. While this condition can't be prevented, it is easily treated. One of the more common ways is through prescription glasses. This is a very simple, safe and affordable method.

Prescription glasses for long-sightedness are convex, known as plus lenses, which 'fix' the light coming into the eye by bending the light rays slightly inwards, meaning they end up where they should on the retina. The particular prescription will vary from person to person as the extent of hypermetropia varies. A qualified optometrist and an eye test will be able to determine which prescription is required. These days, convex glasses for this prescription are available in a huge range of frames to suit any budget and style choice.

Which glasses are best for a short-sighted prescription?

Myopia, or short- or near-sightedness is essentially the opposite problem of long-sightedness. Women tend to suffer from myopia more commonly than men and the condition can affect around 25 per cent of the population. Again, those with parents who have myopia are more likely to develop the condition, which generally happens in children between the ages of 8 and 12 and can worsen during teenage years, and later with age. In some cases however, myopia may improve with time. The refractive error that causes myopia means light does not bend to hit the retina at the back of the eye, but instead focuses in front of the retina. This is because the eye is either too long, or the cornea at the front of the eye responsible for the refraction is too curved. Those suffering from the condition are able to clearly see objects at a close range, but not those that are further away. Prescription glasses can balance the issue simply and quickly. Prescription glasses to correct this problem have concave lenses, called minus lenses. This style bends the light outwards, meaning it will hit the retina in the correct place.

A vision test with an optometrist is important to determine the exact prescription for myopia. It's also important to get tested again if the old prescription no longer corrects blurry vision, as the eyes can change with time. Most optometrists will recommend a new test every 2 years at minimum, but it's important to make an appointment if you notice any changes before this time is up.As with prescription glasses for long-sightedness, there are many options available in frames to fit all budgets and lifestyles.