View Full Version : How common is simultaneous short- and farsightedness?

04-28-2011, 01:12 PM
Since my glasses broke during Easter, I'm looking forward to a visit with the optician tomorrow, my first in this town. Will probably have to repeat the conversation I usually have with new acquaintances in the profession, namely:

"Hmm, you're shortsighted in one eye and farsighted in the other. How interesting. Do you have diabetes?"

As a matter of fact I don't. Still, my eyes check out at -2 dioptres for the right one, and + 1.5 for the left. The right one has been slowly normalising over time, while the left seems to be pushed along the scale to maintain a difference that's been pretty constant since I was diagnosed at eleven. I've always assumed that they've turned out this way because my left dominant eye has stepped in to compensate for the myopic right one, and that the normal aging process is causing the change in the first place. Or could it possibly be the other way around, or is the cause something different? And I'm sure that with all the variations humanity is capable of, it can't really be that much of an oddity or even that interesting. So any Doper optometrists, opticians, fellow glasses wearers, or interested amateurs, just how weird are my eyes?

04-28-2011, 06:57 PM
In my vision screening, I have found a few preschoolers with it. It is quite important to find them and correct it. Otherwise the brain can decide to ignore one eye leading to lazy eye. Big, hard to spell word, Anisometropia, but that only means a difference.

04-28-2011, 07:49 PM
Hmm, good question. Wiki says about 6% of children 6-18 have this problem. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anisometropia) And I've met quite a few other people in my life who do.

I got my first pair of glasses in 3rd grade, but I probably had most of my vision issues practically from birth. I started out with anisometropia, which led to what I have now, refractive amblyopia (which is often missed in kids until a later age). My left eye is both myopic and weak (my right eye does most of the work, left eye is easily strained) due to an improper connection to my brain, and I have astigmatism and am far-sighted in my right, dominant eye. I have the usual issues, somewhat poor depth perception (leading to clumsiness - I bump into things constantly), near-inability to catch or throw things as a kid, can't see 3D stuff.

04-28-2011, 09:17 PM
Hmm, good question. Wiki says about 6% of children 6-18 have this problem. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anisometropia) And I've met quite a few other people in my life who do.

I am surprised it is that high. In screening pre schoolers, we refer less than that. Of course, we are only looking for the cases that need treatment before 6 years old.

(which is often missed in kids until a later age).

That is why we are screening pre schoolers. Some of that stuff is cheap and easy to fix if caught early. If not fixed then, it can lead to severe problems.

04-28-2011, 10:06 PM
My case is quite similar to rhubarbin's. I was diagnosed as nearsighted and farsighted, with an astigmatism, when I was in the third grade, due to an eye test in school. I had no idea anything was wrong with my eyes. IIRC, I got through some previous eye tests because it's so easy to remember the letter sequences after seeing them.

04-28-2011, 10:21 PM
That is a big problem with children. They have no idea they can't see the same as others.

04-29-2011, 02:07 PM
Thank you all for the information. As per my vision check today, I now have normal eyesight, as long as you see the arithmetic mean as a valid measurement. Bull's eye! as the deer-hunting statistician said, after he'd fired and missed twice.

My eye issues surfaced some time between I was seven and twelve, so I guess I must have been a bit of a late bloomer. And like the rest of you, I hadn't the first clue that something was wrong. I'm the only one who's ever needed glasses in my family, as well.

04-29-2011, 05:56 PM
I remember the vision test in school that led to getting glasses - I saw the chart as totally blank (a yellowish blur) when they had me use my left eye. The nurse was very confused! I don't remember getting any vision tests before that time... I had already been to four elementary schools by 3rd grade, maybe that's why.

I wonder if this is heriditary. Now that I'm aware of it I'd want my future kid's vision tested very young, just in case. Refractive amblyopia can be prevented if the differences are treated from an early age (eye patch usually).

My vision problems also contributed to the migraines and headaches I had starting at 4 years old. Things were much better on that front after I got glasses.

04-29-2011, 07:27 PM
I used to be very slightly farsighted in one eye, and very nearsighted in the other. Now, I'm presbyopic in both.

04-29-2011, 11:20 PM
I too am nearsighted in one eye and farsighted in the other and the farsighted one is a lazy eye, and it's been this way since I was a child. I also can't really use both my eyes together when the eye doctor tries to test me. I started wearing corrective lenses as an adult (first contacts, now glasses) that allow me to see medium and far distance for the nearsighted eye. And yes, I went through the prism stuff when I was a child but it didn't work very well because they were trying to correct both eyes equally and they weren't equal.

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