Vision Conditions

Here is some basic information on several common vision conditions.


Amblyopia, commonly called “lazy eye”, occurs when one eye develops differently than the other eye, causing one eye to be weaker than the other. Sometimes a difference in focusing ability causes one eye to be used more often. Other times, the eyes are misaligned, causing one eye to “shut off” to avoid double vision. Regardless of the cause, the result is a weakened, or amblyopic eye.


This condition affects approximately 2 or 3 out of every 100 people. The best time to correct amblyopia is during infancy or early childhood. It’s hard to spot amblyopia. Sometimes a child will noticeably favor one eye over the other. Another possible symptom is the child frequently bumping into things on one side. The best way to tell if your child has a lazy eye is through a complete exam around six months and three years. Early diagnosis can prevent amblyopia from leading to more serious problems such as loss of the ability to see three dimensions or functional blindness in the ambyopic eye.


Most of the time amblyopia can’t be entirely corrected. The amblyopic eye will most likely always be a bit weaker than the other. However, with treatment, vision in the amblyopic eye can be improved to some extent. Treatment involves encouraging the weak eye to develop. This is done using eye patches and glasses. The strong eye may be patched to encourage the weak eye to develop. If a focusing error is the root of the problem, then glasses may reduce the error.

Recommended Links:

National Eye Institute Amblyopia Resource Guide


Sometimes the cornea is irregularly shaped, causing the eye to focus an object on two different areas of the retina. This is known as astigmatism. For the cornea to bend light correctly, it should be dome shaped, like a basketball. Astigmatic corneas are shaped more like a football. This causes a distorted view when looking at objects which are close-up and far away. The cause of astigmatism is unknown. Astigmatism is often associated with myopia and hyperopia, and usually occurs from birth. It may be hereditary or it may be caused by factors such as pressure on the cornea.


Mild astigmatism usually doesn’t need to be corrected. Eyeglasses, contact lenses, or refractive surgery can correct moderate to high degrees of astigmatism.

Computer Vision Syndrome

Computer vision syndrome (CVS) affects three out of four computer users. It is a series of symptoms related to extended periods of computer usage. Though it is no cause for panic, measures can be taken to relieve symptoms of CVS.


Computer vision syndrome can appear as a variety of symptoms. Headaches, eye strain, neck and back aches, sensitivity to light, blurred vision, double vision, excessive watering, and dry or irritated eyes are all possible symptoms. Anyone who uses a computer can develop CVS. Your vision, your computer, and the environment where you work are all factors which can lead to CVS.


Computer vision syndrome is treated with glasses. We offer single vision lenses, lined bifocal or trifocal, or no-line bifocal. A light tint and antiglare coating can help cut down on eyestrain. Conner-Smith Eye Center has several different options for computer glasses. Feel free to call and talk with an optician to find out which options are best for you.


When an eye’s optical power is perfectly matched to its length, the eye is said to be emmetropic. Emmetropia is the medical term for 20/20 vision, needing no corrective lenses or contact lenses for distance vision. It occurs because the optical power of the eye can perfectly focus an image at distance to the retina, giving them “perfect” vision.

The opposite of emmetropia is ametropia. With ametropia, the focal point of the eye is some distance in from front of or behind the retina and requires glasses or contact lenses to focus on the retina and thus be able to see clearly.


Hyperopia is more commonly known as farsightedness. As the name suggests, people with farsightedness are more able to focus on objects that are further away, but with higher levels of farsightedness, even that is difficult. They also can have difficulty focusing on objects which are very close and this becomes worse as a person gets older. This is because the eyeball is shorter than normal, which prevents the crystalline lens in the eye from focusing correctly on the retina. About a fourth of the population is afflicted with hyperopia.

A family history of hyperopia is a risk factor for developing hyperopia. Often babies are born with hyperopia, but they can usually out-grow the condition as the eye develops into the correct shape.


This condition can be corrected with glasses or contact lenses. There are also surgical procedures that can correct hyperopia.