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
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
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
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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