A Guide to Common Eye Conditions that Can Affect Us at Any Age

This information is provided as a reference only and should not be used in place of expert advice from your optometrist.


Long-sightedness, also known as hyperopia, is a common vision problem that affects your ability to see up close. Distance vision is usually very clear, but objects that are close-up are more difficult to see clearly. This makes reading and writing more difficult. Long-sightedness can be corrected using spectacle lenses or contact lenses.

Someone who is long-sighted may experience blurred vision, eye fatigue and strain, crossed eyes in children, headaches and poor concentration.


Short-sightedness, also known as myopia, is a condition that affects your ability to see clearly in the distance. Distance vision is blurred, but generally you can still see clearly up close. Short-sightedness can be corrected using spectacle lenses or contact lenses.

Someone who is myopic or short-sighted is likely to experience blurred vision when watching or playing sport, looking at the whiteboard, reading street signs and watching television.


Presbyopia is the gradual change in a person’s sight after the age of forty. It is caused by the eye’s inability to focus at short distances. People with the condition often have trouble reading the menu in a restaurant, threading a needle and reading fine print.

Presbyopia can be corrected with spectacle lenses or contact lenses. Multifocal lenses provide natural vision at short and long distances and everything in between. A regular eye exam is required as your ability to focus declines in order to update your lens prescription every few years.


Astigmatism is a common and usually minor eye condition that causes blurred or distorted vision. It occurs when the cornea or lens isn’t a perfectly curved shape This causes the light entering the eye to bend more in one direction than the other. In minor cases common symptoms of astigmatism include eyestrain, fatigue, reduced concentration and discomfort while higher degrees of astigmatism can cause images at all distances to be distorted and blurred. Astigmatism is commonly treated using spectacle lenses or contact lenses.

Colour Blindness

‘Colour blindness’ most commonly presents as confusion between red and green. It’s commonly inherited and affect approximately 10% of men, and an extremely small number of women.With this deficiency certain shades of red, green and yellow appear grey but many colours, especially purples and blues will appear normal. Whilst there is no cure for inherited colour vision problems, tinted lenses and lenses that reduce glare may be prescribed to improve contrast between colours.