Why can't someone who is myopic see reflections clearly?

  • Thread starter joriarty
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In summary, if you are myopic and take off your glasses, distant objects will still appear blurry when looking at reflections in a mirror. This is because the images in the mirror are located behind the mirror and at the same distance as the actual objects, not in the plane of the mirror. This is why optometrists use front-surface-silvered mirrors in their examinations.
  • #1
joriarty
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I have always wondered about this - I have moderate short-sightedness (5 diopters). If I take off my glasses and stand close enough to a mirror that I can focus sharply on the actual surface of the mirror (or the wall behind it), the reflections in the mirror of more distant objects are still just as blurry as if I were looking at those objects directly.

Does anyone know why this is?
 
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  • #2
If you are myopic and take off your glasses, distant objects will be blurry. Looking into a mirror does not correct your myopia, so distant (reflected) objects will still be blurry. This is why Optometrists use front-surface-silvered mirrors to extend the light paths in their examination lanes.
 
  • #3
joriarty said:
If I take off my glasses and stand close enough to a mirror that I can focus sharply on the actual surface of the mirror (or the wall behind it), the reflections in the mirror of more distant objects are still just as blurry as if I were looking at those objects directly.

The images are not located in the plane of the mirror. They're located behind the mirror, at the same distance from the mirror plane as the corresponding objects (which are of course in front of the mirror).
 
  • #4
jtbell said:
The images are not located in the plane of the mirror. They're located behind the mirror, at the same distance from the mirror plane as the corresponding objects (which are of course in front of the mirror).

Ah of course! Thank you. While my studies get increasingly complicated I unfortunately seem to be forgetting the basic foundations of physics...
 
  • #5


I can provide an explanation for why someone who is myopic or nearsighted cannot see reflections clearly. Myopia is a refractive error in which the eyeball is too long or the cornea is too curved, causing light to be focused in front of the retina instead of directly on it. This results in distant objects appearing blurry.

When you look in a mirror, you are essentially looking at a reflection of the world behind you. However, because your eyeball is too long, the light from the reflected objects is still focused in front of the retina, resulting in a blurry image. This is similar to when you look at distant objects without your glasses on.

Additionally, the mirror itself may also contribute to the blurriness of the reflection. If the mirror is not perfectly flat, it can cause distortions in the reflected image. This can further contribute to the blurry appearance of distant objects in the reflection.

In order to see reflections clearly, someone who is myopic would need to wear corrective lenses such as glasses or contact lenses. These lenses help to focus the light directly on the retina, allowing for clear vision of both distant objects and reflections.

I hope this explanation helps to answer your question. Myopia is a common refractive error that can be easily corrected with the use of corrective lenses. If you have any further questions or concerns about your vision, I recommend consulting with an optometrist or ophthalmologist for personalized advice.
 

1. Why do people with myopia have difficulty seeing reflections clearly?

Myopia, also known as nearsightedness, is a refractive error of the eye where the light entering the eye is focused in front of the retina instead of directly on it. This results in distant objects appearing blurry, including reflections.

2. Can myopia be corrected to improve the clarity of reflections?

Yes, myopia can be corrected with glasses, contact lenses, or refractive surgery. These methods help to redirect the light entering the eye to focus directly on the retina, improving the clarity of reflections and overall vision.

3. Are there any other factors besides myopia that can affect the clarity of reflections?

Yes, there are other factors that can affect the clarity of reflections, such as the curvature of the reflective surface, lighting conditions, and the clarity of the eye's natural lens. However, myopia is a common cause of poor reflection clarity.

4. Can myopia worsen over time and affect the clarity of reflections even more?

Yes, myopia can worsen over time, especially during childhood and adolescence. This can lead to further difficulties in seeing reflections clearly, as well as other visual tasks. It is important to regularly visit an eye doctor to monitor and manage myopia.

5. Are there any ways to prevent or slow down the progression of myopia and improve the clarity of reflections?

There is ongoing research on ways to prevent or slow down the progression of myopia, such as spending more time outdoors and using special contact lenses or eye drops. However, these methods are still being studied and may not work for everyone. The most effective way to improve the clarity of reflections is to correct myopia with glasses, contact lenses, or refractive surgery.

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