When you visit your eye care specialist for your annual exam, do you often hear eye health terms that you’re unfamiliar with? When you’re told your vision is 20/20 (or 20/100), what exactly does that mean? If the eye care specialist tells you that your son has myopia and needs corrective lenses, what exactly is myopia?

The eye care professionals at Carson Optical have compiled a list of common eye health terms you may hear at your next visit:


Myopia, better known as nearsightedness, is a refractive error in which your eye does not bend or refract light properly. Since the light cannot focus correctly, close objects appear clear but distant objects are often blurred and difficult to differentiate.

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, nearly 25% of Americans are afflicted with this vision condition. An inherited condition, it is often discovered in children between ages eight and 12 years old. Nearsightedness can worsen during adolescence, but vision usually stabilizes in adulthood. Severe myopia can increase your risk of having a detached retina in the future. An annual eye exam will detect whether or not you are nearsighted. Fortunately, most cases of myopia can be corrected with glass or contact lenses.


Also referred to as farsightedness, hyperopia is a vision condition in which you are able to see distant objects clearly but cannot focus on close-up objects. Similar to myopia in that your eye does not refract light properly, in the case of hyperopia the light focuses behind your retina causing blurred vision. This is caused by an unusually shortened shape of the eye.

Hyperopia is a genetic condition, although many young children are temporarily farsighted. Often times, the condition self-corrects as the eyes grow in length.

For those who remain farsighted into adolescence and adulthood, headaches and eye fatigue are common due to the constant effort to focus. Reading glasses can help with eye strain early on, but eventually, prescription glasses or contacts may be needed to help your see better at all distances.


From the Greek word meaning “old eye,” presbyopia is a condition in which your eyes gradually lose the ability to see things clearly up close. This occurs due to the increasing inflexibility or hardening of the lens, making it more difficult to focus.

Unlike hyperopia, presbyopia is an age-related, progressive condition that affects almost everyone at some point in life. While there is no way to reverse or stop presbyopia, it can be corrected with glasses, contact lenses, or surgery. Progressive lenses may be prescribed if you have trouble focusing at near and far distances.


Astigmatism occurs when the eyeball isn’t perfectly round, caused by an irregularly shaped cornea or an unequal curvature in the lens of your eye. This imperfection makes light rays unable to properly focus on the retina. Because your eye is unable to focus rays of light on a single point, your vision can become blurry or distorted at both near and far distances. Astigmatism is a genetically inherited condition and can occur in combination with nearsightedness or farsightedness.

At Carson Optical, our focus is on you. Our knowledge and expertise allow us to blend personal communication with precision eyewear fitting techniques. Family-owned and -operated since 1972, we maintain the highest standards in customer service year after year. To schedule an appointment, call 813-681-3863 or fill out our online request form. We look forward to building a relationship with you!