Hyperopia

Farsightedness (hyperopia) is when you cannot see objects that are close. You can see objects that are far away. This usually happens because the eye is not completely round. The eye is a little shorter than normal, or does not bend (refract) the light enough so that light is focused behind the macula. As a result, images are blurred.

This condition is often not noticed early in life. It is common to notice changes beginning in the early to mid 40s as part of normal aging.

CAUSES

  • Developing cataracts.

  • Certain drugs and medicines.

  • Abnormal eye anatomy (e.g. flat cornea).

  • Other diseases of the eye.

SYMPTOMS

People with mild hyperopia may have no symptoms until they get a little older. This is because their ability to focus gets worse with age. Other symptoms include:

  • A hard time reading or seeing objects up close.

  • Achy feeling in the eyes.

  • Headaches when reading or focusing up close.

  • Eye strain.

DIAGNOSIS

An optometrist or ophthalmologist can diagnose hyperopia with tests using a series of lenses in front of the eye and the eye reading chart.

TREATMENT

  • Glasses or contact lenses.

  • Ophthalmologists can use laser treatments to change the shape of the clear covering at the front of the eye (cornea).

  • People with hyperopia usually need reading glasses as they approach their 40's and 50's.

SEEK IMMEDIATE MEDICAL CARE IF:

You get sudden, severe pain in one eye associated with a drop in vision. Due to the anatomy of shorter eyes, people with hyperopia have a higher risk of a sudden attack of high pressure in the eyes (acute glaucoma). This can result in blindness of the affected eye if not treated within a matter of hours.