What is hyperopia?
Hyperopia, or farsightedness, is a vision condition in which distant objects are usually seen more clearly than close ones. This occurs due to the shape of the eye and its components; it is not just a function of the aging of the lens, which occurs with presbyopia.
Why does hyperopia occur?
If the length of the eyeball is too short or the cornea has too little curvature, it is difficult to focus on near objects. Hereditary factors often control the growth and development of the eye. However, environmental factors may also contribute to the development of hyperopia.
How common is hyperopia?
Many people have some degree of hyperopia. 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 due to farsightedness or presbyopia (a naturally occurring decrease in focusing ability at near distance).
What are signs/symptoms of hyperopia?
Common signs and symptoms of hyperopia include difficulty concentrating and maintaining a clear focus on near objects, blurred vision, eyestrain, fatigue and/or headaches after close work.
How is hyperopia diagnosed?
Hyperopia can be effectively diagnosed in a comprehensive optometric examination. Common vision screenings, often done in schools, generally don't detect farsighted people. This is because these individuals can identify the letters on a distance eye chart with little difficulty, but they are not often effectively tested at near distance.
How does hyperopia affect vision?
If you are hyperopic, 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 viewed object into focus, blurred vision results.
How is hyperopia treated?
In mild cases, your eyes may be able to compensate adequately without corrective lenses. In moderate or severe cases, your optometrist may recommend glasses or contact lenses. Most individuals adapt well to wearing glasses or contact lenses, and farsightedness does not significantly affect their lifestyle.