When someone is nearsighted (literally, not figuratively!), we call this being myopic. Why do some people have so much trouble seeing far away? They have long eyes!
No really, their eyes are longer than where light can focus in clearly. When light comes in to the eye, it narrows to a point of focus, and then starts to spread (or blur) again. If the eye is longer, the retina gets blurry information that it passes on to the brain. The closer something is, the less the blur on the retina. The farther something is, the more blurry it is.
We correct for this by using lenses (in glasses or contacts), to create a domino effect of pushing that clear point of focus right onto the retina so images are seen clearly. The lenses used are concave shaped, causing light to diverge. The lenses are thinnest in the centre, and thickest at the edges. Diverging lenses cause things to look smaller, called minification – this is why someone very nearsighted will appear to have smaller eyes behind their glasses.
If you’re having trouble seeing things in the distance, you may have myopia. Some people have small amounts of myopia, and only need to wear correction for certain tasks.
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