What are the Four Types of Vision?
Vision is a crucial sense that allows us to perceive the world around us. However, not everyone experiences the same type of vision. There are several types of vision, each with unique characteristics and causes. Here, we will discuss the four main types of vision and include some general vision health tips.
The 4 Types of Vision
Although there are several eye conditions and ocular abilities, vision is generally characterized into four main types.
Emmetropia is considered normal or perfect vision (20/20) and is one of the most common types of vision in young people. In emmetropic eyes, light entering the eye is focused precisely on the retina, resulting in clear and sharp vision. People with emmetropia do not require corrective lenses or surgery to achieve clear vision.
Emmetropia results from the eye's ability to accurately bend light rays and bring them to a point on the retina. The American Optometric Association states that people with emmetropia can see as far as 20 feet.
Nearsightedness, also known as myopia, is a common condition in which distant objects appear blurry while nearby objects appear clear. Nearsightedness is one of the four most common types of vision in people above 65 and occurs due to an abnormal eye length, or an abnormally curved cornea, the transparent cover of the eye, which causes the light to focus before the retina instead of directly on it. This results in a blurred image on the retina, causing distant objects to appear blurry.
Although myopia is common in adolescents, adults facing health conditions such as diabetes can also develop the condition. Moreover, the risk of developing myopia increases after the age of 40. Nearsightedness is corrected with concave lenses that deviate light rays and move the focal point back onto the retina.
Farsightedness, or hyperopia, is a condition in which nearby objects appear blurry while distant objects appear clear. Farsightedness occurs when the eye is too short (unlike in nearsightedness) or the cornea is too flat, which causes the light to focus behind the retina. This results in a blurred image on the retina, causing near objects to appear blurry.
According to the National Health Institute, hyperopia affects more than 11 million people in the United States, with more than half of them aged 65 or over. Farsightedness is corrected with convex lenses that congregate light rays and move the focal point forward onto the retina.
Presbyopia is among the common types of vision that typically affects people over 65. It is caused by the eye's natural aging process, resulting in a loss of lens elasticity. This causes the lens to become less flexible and less able to change shape, making it difficult to focus on nearby objects. As a result, people with presbyopia often require reading glasses or bifocal lenses to see up close.
Warning Signs of Deteriorating Eyesight
Deteriorating eyesight can be a gradual process, and often people do not realize that their vision has changed until it starts affecting their daily activities. Here are some warning signs that may indicate deteriorating eyesight:
1. Blurred Vision: If you find that objects appear blurry or out of focus, this may be a sign that your eyesight is deteriorating. Blurred vision can result from conditions like nearsightedness, farsightedness, or cataracts.
2. Difficulty Seeing at Night: If you have trouble seeing in low light conditions, it could be a sign of deteriorating eyesight. You may need more light to see or are more sensitive to glare.
3. Difficulty Reading: If you have to hold reading material closer or further away than usual, or if you have to squint to read, this may be a sign of deteriorating eyesight. You may also find that you have difficulty seeing small print.
4. Eye Strain or Fatigue: If you experience eye strain or fatigue when reading, watching TV, or using a computer, this may be a sign that your eyesight is deteriorating. You may also experience headaches or feel a burning sensation in your eyes.
5. Double Vision: If you see double or ghost images, it could be a sign of deteriorating eyesight. This may be a symptom of an underlying condition like cataracts, astigmatism, or a muscle imbalance.
6. Color Blindness: It may be a sign of deteriorating eyesight if you have trouble distinguishing between colors or shades. Color blindness can result from an inherited condition or an underlying health problem.
7. Loss of Peripheral Vision: If your side vision is becoming increasingly limited, it could be a sign of deteriorating eyesight. Loss of peripheral vision can be a symptom of damage to the optic nerve.
Vision Health Tips for Declining Eyesight
While these conditions cannot be prevented, there are things that people can do to keep their eyes healthy and manage their vision. Below are some vision care tips for people with emmetropia, nearsightedness, farsightedness, or presbyopia.
· Get Regular Eye Exams
It's essential to get regular eye exams to ensure your eyes are healthy and your vision is stable. Eye exams can help detect eye diseases early. If you have a refractive error like nearsightedness, farsightedness, or presbyopia, regular eye exams can also ensure that your corrective lenses are up to date and that your prescription is still accurate.
· Take Breaks from Screens
If you spend a lot of time looking at screens, whether a computer, phone, or TV, it's essential to take breaks. The blue light from screens can strain your eyes and cause headaches, dry eyes, and blurred vision. The 20-20-20 rule can help you reduce eye strain. Every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break and look at something 20 feet away.
· Eat a Healthy Diet
A healthy diet is essential for maintaining good overall health, including your eyes. Foods rich in antioxidants, like leafy greens, citrus fruits, and berries, can help protect your eyes from damage caused by free radicals. Omega-3 fatty acids in fish like salmon and tuna can also support eye health.
· Avoid Smoking
Smoking is harmful to your overall health, including your eyes. Smoking is a precursor of several eye health conditions, such as cataracts, macular degeneration, and other eye diseases that can cause vision loss. Thus, smokers should quit smoking to reduce the risk of worsening eye health.
· Manage Chronic Conditions
Chronic conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure can also affect your eyesight. If you have a chronic condition, work with your healthcare provider to manage it effectively. Monitoring your blood sugar and blood pressure levels can help prevent vision complications.
Understanding the different types of vision is essential to maintaining healthy eyesight. Whether you have perfect vision or require corrective lenses, it's essential to understand the underlying condition so you can treat or manage it accordingly. Read here to learn more about vision health and eye conditions. Moreover, Healthy Vision Associates can help provide benefits to people suffering from visual impairment and inform of the must-know information about vision health, so you can improve your vision and quality of life.