What Is Hyperopia?
Farsightedness, or hyperopia, as it is medically termed, is a vision condition in which distant objects are usually seen clearly but close ones are not brought into proper focus.
Why does farsightedness occur?
If the length of your eyeball is too short or the cornea has too little curvature, near objects cannot be brought into a sharp and clearly focused image. Some theorists believe that farsightedness is hereditary and others believe that it may result from environmental factors.
In contrast to myopia, hyperopia occurs when the eye is too short for the power of its optical components. In hyperopia, the cornea is not steep enough and light rays hit the retina before they come into focus. Distant objects appear blurred, and nearby objects are even fuzzier. Most farsighted individuals need corrective eyewear to see clearly at all distances.
How does farsightedness affect vision?
If you are farsighted, you involuntarily exert extra effort to maintain clear distance vision and even greater effort to see clearly at close range. This extra effort can cause fatigue, tension, and discomfort. If the crystalline lens of the eye cannot bring the object into focus, blurred vision occurs.
How common is farsightedness?
Many people have some degree of farsightedness. The condition is only a problem if it significantly affects a person’s ability to see. It is estimated that over half the people who wear glasses are wearing them because of a focusing problem due to farsightedness or presbyopia, a natural decrease in focusing ability.
What are signs/symptoms of farsightedness?
Common signs/symptoms of farsightedness include difficulty in concentrating and maintaining a clear focus on near objects, blurred vision, eye strain, fatigue and/or headaches after close work, aching or burning eyes, poor reading ability and general tension, irritability or nervousness after sustained concentration.
How is farsightedness detected?
Farsightedness can be effectively diagnosed during a comprehensive optometric examination. Common vision screenings, often done in schools, are generally ineffective in detecting farsighted people. This is because these individuals can identify the letters on an eye chart with little difficulty.
How is farsightedness treated?
In mild cases, your eyes may be able to compensate adequately without the need for corrective lenses. In more severe cases, your optometrist may recommend glasses or contact lenses.
Correction of hyperopia requires a lens, which is convex (i.e. thicker in the middle than the edges). This acts as a magnifier, and causes objects to appear bigger by 2% per diopter. For this reason hyperopes while wearing their spectacle correction, appear to have “big” eyes. Optical abberations and decreased peripheral vision occur are likely to occur with large amounts of hyperopia. It is typically in the +1.00 to +4.00 diopter range, rarely it can be as high as +8.00 diopters.
Contact lens correction reduces the optical problems that plague eyeglass wearers, but they have their own unique problems including high-maintance care solutions, corneal warping, corneal suffocation, corneal infections, and eyelid allergies.
How will farsightedness affect my lifestyle?
If glasses or contact lenses are prescribed, it may take a few days to adjust to them. After that, farsightedness will probably not significantly affect your lifestyle.