Hyperopia (Farsightedness) – Causes, Symptoms, Treatment

Hyperopia is commonly known as “farsightedness” which is a kind of refractive error. Farsightedness is medical condition wherein distant objects can be seen clearly but nearby objects is not that much clear. Hyperopia can occur at any age young or old and the intensity vary widely. In other words, nearby objects can be blurry for some people and for others it cannot come into proper focus. Flat cornea can cause this problem and if the eyeball is short it can cause farsightedness.

Cornea and lens are vital parts of the eye. Lens is responsible for shaping and focusing the objects and cornea is a transparent layer present in front of the eye. Both these parts work together to refract and focus the light on the retina. Optic nerve is communicated by the retina which in turn sends information to the brain. You can see perfect image of the object only if the cornea, retina and lens are perfect.

If the cornea is very flat you will not be able to focus the image rightly. Farsightedness can be of any degree causing variation in clarity of close objects. Hyperopia can be corrected easily by wearing suitable glasses, contact lens or by laser assisted surgery. Refractive error occurs due to abnormal shape of the eye, varying length of the eyeball and any changes in cornea shape and due to aging.

Hyperopia Causes :

  • Hyperopia can occur if the cornea is too flat. For some people it is caused by the abnormal size of eyeball. Light gets focused at the back of retina if the eyeball is short. Under normal conditions, light should get focused on the retina to get clear object of the image.
  • Heredity plays a vital role in causing hyperopia.
  • Aging can also cause farsightedness or hyperopia. As one grows older, the lens of the eye loses its shape leading to hyperopia.

Risk Factors :

Hyperopia or farsightedness can occur to anyone irrespective of age or sex. About 5-10% of American population has hyperopia. Individuals with family history of farsightedness are at high risk to develop this condition over age.


Signs and Symptoms Of Hyperopia :

Some of the common signs of hyperopia include blurred vision, headache, straining of eyes while looking into near objects and squinting. You may get fatigue and tension when you are trying to strain your eyes while reading. For some people it can cause burning sensation around the eyes after reading. The symptom of hyperopia differs from one person to the other depending on the intensity of the problem.

Diagnosis :

Your eye specialist would examine the eyes using lighted instrument. The eyes are dilated using special solution before it is examined. She would be able to tell you about the intensity of hyperopia and necessary solution. It is wise to check with your ophthalmologist if you start developing blurred vision or problems reading letters from nearby books and objects.

Hyperopia Treatment :

Hyperopia can be easily repaired with right pair of eyeglasses. Your eye doctor would examine your eyes and prescribe suitable power glasses. The simplest way of treating hyperopia is by wearing prescribed eyeglasses. Contact lenses can be used for correcting farsightedness. When comparing with eyeglasses contact lenses can be expensive. Lenses would become the refractive surface for the entering light rays giving out clear refraction. Contact lenses would be an ideal solution for many people with severe hyperopia helping in giving clear vision.

The last option of treatment for hyperopia is refractive surgery. People with distorted shape of cornea are suitable for refractive surgery. Your eye care professional would decide whether you are suitable for undergoing this surgery. This surgical intervention can completely correct the refractive vision and you may not need eyeglasses anymore after surgery. Some of the complications of refractive surgery are dryness of eyes, getting halo around the eyes and infection. LASIK is laser assisted keratomileusis surgery wherein laser beams are used in controlled fashion to repair the curvature of cornea. LASIK surgery can be used commonly for repairing nearsightedness and farsightedness.

Whether Hyperopia Can Be Prevented ?

  1. You can do nothing to prevent farsightedness. For some people shape of cornea and eyeball are not normal right from birth.
  2. You can always take regular care of your eyes. As soon as you sense any problem in reading books or seeing nearby objects you need to check with your eye specialist without any delay.
  3. Go for regular checkups with eye-care professional if you are above 40 years and if you have hypertension or diabetes since both these problems can significantly affect your eye.
  4. Read only in good lighting conditions and take intervals/breaks if your work involves working with computer or laptop.
  5. Any changes in normal vision or even blurred vision should be reported to your eye doctor.

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