What Is farsightedness (Hyperopia)?
The hyperopic eye is too short, and therefore distance and near vision
is blurry. Farsightedness (hyperopia) results when structural defects
in the eye cause your vision to be blurry. If you are farsighted, you
see distant objects more clearly than close objects, though both near
and distant vision may be affected, and you may have trouble focusing
when performing tasks such as reading or sewing. Although these defects
(such as a shorter eyeball or a flat cornea) are often present early in
life, normal development and lengthening of the eyeball during early childhood
usually corrects the condition.
As you age, your eyes lose the ability to change the shape of the lens
to focus on near objects. Farsightedness is often first noticed after
age 40 when the eyes begin to lose their ability to accommodate. The age-related
decline in focusing power, called presbyopia, makes farsightedness more apparent.
What causes farsightedness?
Farsightedness occurs when light entering the eye focuses behind the retina
instead of directly on it. This happens when an eye is too short lengthwise,
the cornea is not curved enough, or the lens sits farther back in the
eye than normal.
Farsightedness often runs in families. In rare instances, some diseases
such as retinopathy, eye tumors, and lens dislocation can also contribute
to the development of farsightedness.
What are the symptoms of farsightedness?
Symptoms of farsightedness can include blurred vision, difficulty seeing
objects up close, aching eyes, eyestrain, and headaches.
Children with this condition may have no symptoms. A child with more severe
farsightedness may get headaches or rub his or her eyes often. Difficulty
or lack of interest in reading is another possible sign of farsightedness.
Farsightedness also increases the risk for crossed eyes. Any child with
crossed eyes should be seen by an ophthalmologist.
Source: Healthwise, Incorporated
How is farsightedness diagnosed?
Farsightedness is usually diagnosed with a normal eye examination. Your
health professional will take a medical history and perform a routine
eye exam. Photoscreening, a method of vision screening that uses images
captured from film or video, may be used to conduct an eye examination
on young children who may have trouble with a normal test.
Your doctor may use eyedrops that enlarge the pupil and make accommodation
impossible (cycloplegic drops), allowing the doctor to better examine the eye.
How is farsightedness treated?
Mild farsightedness often needs no treatment. Moderate farsightedness is
usually corrected with eyeglasses or contact lenses. As you age and your
eyes are not able to accommodate farsightedness as effectively, you will
need eyeglasses or contact lenses. For severe farsightedness, you may
choose to have surgery such as laser surgery (H-LASIK), photorefractive
keratectomy (H-PRK), or intraocular lens implants (IOLs).
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