Common Vision Problems

Hyperopia – farsightedness, the ability to see items or objects more clearly at a distance. Items or objects closer to the eyes are blurry and difficult to see.

Myopia – nearsightedness, the ability to see items or objects more clearly when they are closer to the eyes. Items or objects in the distance become blurry and difficult to see.

Anisometropia – a difference between each eye’s refractive power, or how well the eyes work together to see or focus. This condition is caused by a difference in the shape or curvature of one of the eyes and can be detected and diagnosed by a licensed eyecare professional with an eye exam.

Anisocoria – unequal pupil sizes, a condition that may be normal for a person or could be a sign or greater health concern. Diagnosis should be made through an eye exam by a licensed eyecare professional.

Strabismus – misalignment of the eyes. There are several types of strabismus one of which is commonly referred to as “cross eyed” when one or both eyes appear to focus on the nose. Another form of strabismus is when one or both eyes appear to focus away from the nose. If left untreated, strabismus can lead to blindness.

Astigmatism – inability to see clearly at any distance in an eye due to an abnormality in the shape of the cornea or lens. The normally rounded shape covering the iris and pupil is more oblong like a football. Diagnosis is made through an eye exam by a licensed eyecare provider. Treatment is with prescriptive eyewear.

Amblyopia – commonly known as “lazy eye”. If left untreated, this condition can lead to permanent blindness. To prevent blindness, it is important for an early diagnosis and treatment by a licensed eyecare professional. For more information about Amblyopia see National Eye Institute at Amblyopia (Lazy Eye) | National Eye Institute (

The conditions listed above can be detected through handheld vision screeners such as the Hill-Rom Welch Allyn Spot or the Plusoptix camera. The results are not meant as a substitution for diagnosis. Diagnosis and treatment should be determined by a licensed eyecare provider.

Early detection and treatment are key to a successful learning environment. Routine school vision screenings should be expected in kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 5th grades, once in grades 6th through 8th, and once in grades 9th through 12th.

Additional resources can be found at:

Types of Strabismus

Images from the American Academy of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus,

Anisocoria (unequal pupil sizes)

Image from

Saving Vision

Treatments may include glasses, contacts, surgeries, or even patches to strengthen eye muscles.

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