Hyperopia (Farsightedness)

What is farsightedness?
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 sharp and clearly focused images. Hereditary factors often control the growth and development of the eye. However, environmental factors may also contribute to the development of farsightedness.

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 at near distance.

What are signs/symptoms of farsightedness?
Common signs and 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.

How is farsightedness diagnosed?
Farsightedness can be effectively diagnosed in 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 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 being viewed into focus, blurred vision occurs.

How is farsightedness treated?
In mild cases, your eyes may be able to compensate adequately without the need for corrective lenses. In moderate or severe cases, your optometrist may recommend glasses or contact lenses.

How will farsightedness affect my lifestyle?
Most individuals adapt well to wearing glasses or contact lenses. After that, farsightedness will probably not significantly affect your lifestyle.

Content reprinted from The American Optometric Association’s website, http://www.aoa.org

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