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Farsightedness

(Hyperopia)

Definition

People with farsightedness (hyperopia or hypermetropia) usually have difficulty seeing close objects. In severe cases, they can have trouble seeing objects both far and near.

Causes    TOP

Farsightedness is a type of refractive error, which means the shape of the eye does not bend light correctly, so images are blurred. In farsightedness, the eyeball is too short for light rays to clearly focus on the retina. It may also be caused by a problem with the shape of your cornea or lens.

Interior of the Eye

eye anatomy 2
Light rays are precisely focused on the retina (orange) in good vision.
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Risk Factors    TOP

Farsightedness is more likely to occur in people who have family members with the same condition.

Symptoms    TOP

Symptoms may include:

  • Difficulty focusing on objects up close
  • Blurred vision
  • Headache
  • Eyestrain

Young adults with farsightedness often do not have symptoms. However, they may need reading glasses at an earlier age than their peers.

Diagnosis    TOP

A specialist will ask about your symptoms and medical history. You will be given an eye exam to check for problems with your eyes. A light may be used to see how it reflects off your retina. Your will try various lenses to see which ones will help improve your vision.

Treatment    TOP

Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Options include:

Corrective Lenses

Farsightedness can be treated using corrective lenses, such as eyeglasses or contact lenses. You will be seen at regular intervals to assess your vision and determine if your corrective lenses prescription needs to change.

Refractive Surgery

If you elect to undergo the procedure, certain forms of farsightedness may be treated with refractive surgery. The surgeries used to treat farsightedness focus on changing the shape of the cornea to increase the eye's ability to focus. Many of these procedures are done using lasers.

Prevention    TOP

There are no current guidelines to prevent farsightedness.

RESOURCES:

American Academy of Ophthalmology
http://www.aao.org
National Eye Institute
http://www.nei.nih.gov

CANADIAN RESOURCES:

Canadian Ophthalmological Society
http://www.eyesite.ca

References:

Facts about hyperopia. National Eye Institute website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Accessed May 6, 2016.
Farsightedness: hyperopia treatment. American Academy of Ophthalmology website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Updated May 10, 2014. Accessed May 6, 2016.
Hyperopia (farsightedness). American Optometric Association website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Accessed May 6, 2016.
Hyperopia (farsightedness). University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Accessed May 6, 2016.
Last reviewed June 2016 by Michael Woods, MD
Last Updated: 9/16/2016

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