adjective for eyes that can hardly read

Discussion in 'English Only' started by epistolario, Apr 7, 2010.

  1. epistolario

    epistolario Senior Member

    I would normally say that someone needs to wear eyeglasses because he or she can hardly read. But I realize that I do not know the adjective that describes the eye that has difficulty reading texts with small-sized fonts. If I were to guess, you use the adjective weak:

    a) His eyes have grown weak with age. (At the age of 45, he needs to wear glasses already.)
    b) I need to look closer to the newspaper because my eyes are weak.

    Is that correct? Thanks in advance.
  2. Copyright

    Copyright Senior Member

    American English
    I would not say weak... it doesn't really describe what's going on with your eyes, which are simply changing. This assumes that the vision problem can be remedied with glasses:
    His vision has changed -- now he has to wear reading glasses.
    I need to hold the newspaper closer because my vision has changed -- I should make an appointment with the optometrist but I'm too vain.

    If someone is already wearing glasses but they're not working any more, you can say:
    His prescription is too old -- he needs to get it changed.
    He needs a new prescription -- he's got the newspaper stuck to his nose.
  3. djmc Senior Member

    English - United Kingdom
    Myopic short sighted needs glasses to see in distance.
    Hypermetropic needs glasses to see things closely.
    Both these would be found in youth and are because of the shape of the eye or the lens.
    Presbyopic needs glasses to see things closely. This is an age related condition which arises because the lens becomes less able to change focus. It happens to everyone with age and normally means that they have difficulty in reading small print.
  4. natkretep

    natkretep Moderato con anima (English Only)

    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    I think you mean 'near sighted' (AE). And as djmc noted, the BE equivalent is 'short sighted'.

    I also agree with Copyright that you shouldn't use 'weak'. I might say that someone's eyesight is not as good.
  5. epistolario

    epistolario Senior Member

    I was actually thinking in my own language and trying to translate it literally. Now I remember that in English, you use the adjective poor and you describe the vision, not the eyes. Are these grammatically correct?

    a) His vision has grown poor with age, that's why he needs to wear an eyeglasses.
    b) I'm need to use a magnifying glass because my vision is poor.

    Thanks, everyone.
  6. natkretep

    natkretep Moderato con anima (English Only)

    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    Yes, ffrancis. This version is much better. For some reason 'eyesight' sounds more normal to me than 'vision', but 'vision' is fine too.
  7. JamesM

    JamesM à la Mod (English Only)

    In casual conversation we also say "my eyesight's getting worse" or even "my eyes are getting old". :)
  8. djmc Senior Member

    English - United Kingdom
    If someone needs glasses because his vision has grown poor with age or uses a magnifying glass this will be because they are presbyopic (old man's vision).
    It is normally the case that those who can see in the distance and are far sighted have problems with near vision.
    Eventually even those who are naturally hypermetropic or myopic will became presbyopic.

    Normally these problems can be corrected by glasses. One can have poor vision for other reasons not all of which can be corrected. Someone with weak eyesight may any of these problems, but may have other problems such as being hypersensitive to light, having a cataract etc.

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