What is Hyperopia?
People with hyperopia or farsightedness have difficulty focusing on objects close up, such as print in a book. More severe hyperopia would also cause problems with seeing objects in the distance clearly, such as highway signs.
The occurrence of hyperopia increases with age. At least half of all persons over the age of 65 have some degree of farsightedness.
What causes Hyperopia ?
Hyperopia is a refractive error, like astigmatism and nearsightedness (myopia). Having a refractive error means that light rays bend incorrectly into your eye to transmit images to the brain. Farsightedness occurs when light entering the eye focuses behind the retina instead of directly on it. An abnormally flat cornea or short eye can cause the light to enter the eye this way.
Hyperopia often runs in families. It is often present at birth. However many children outgrow it.
What are the symptoms of Hyperopia ?
Symptoms of farsightedness may include:
- Eye strain
- Difficulty concentrating or focusing on nearby objects
- Fatigue or headache after performing a close task such as reading
If you experience these symptoms of hyperopia while wearing your glasses or contact lenses, you may need a new prescription.
How is Hyperopia diagnosed ?
Farsightedness can be easily diagnosed by a basic eye exam given by your eye doctor.
How is Hyperopia corrected ?
To correct hyperopia you must change the way the light rays bend when entering your eye. Glasses, contact lenses, or refractive surgery can all be used to correct farsightedness.
Depending on the extent of your farsightedness, you may need to wear your glasses or contact lenses at all times, or only when you need to see objects up close, like when reading or sewing.
If wearing contacts or glasses isn't for you, refractive surgery can reduce or even eliminate your dependence on glasses or contact lenses. Talk to your eye doctor about which treatment is best for you.
The most common procedures to correct hyperopia include:
- PRK During a photorefractive keratectomy a laser is used to flatten the cornea so that light rays can focus closer to, or even on the retina.
- LASIK During laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis, a flap is cut through the top of the cornea, a laser removes some corneal tissue, and then the flap is dropped back into place. LASIK is the most common surgery used to correct farsightedness.