Hyperopia, or farsightedness, is a common vision condition, or refractive effort that affects nearly 25% of the population in the United States. A refractive error means that the shape of your eye doesn't refract the light properly, so that the image you see is blurred. Hyperopia occurs when the curvature of the cornea is shorter than normal or the curvature of the cornea is too flat, causing light entering the eye to be focused behind the retina rather than directly on the retina. Objects in the distance are seen clearly, but objects close up appear blurry. For our eyes to be able to see, light rays must be bent or “refracted” so they can focus directly on the retina, the nerve layer that lines the back of the eye. Together, the cornea and the lens refract light rays. The retina receives the picture formed by these light rays and sends the image to the brain through the optic nerve.
What causes Hyperopia?
Hyperopia is thought to be hereditary and many children are born with farsightedness. Since the eye continues to grow during childhood, many “outgrow” this condition as the eyeball lengthens with normal growth.
What are the symptoms?
Common signs include difficulty maintaining a clear focus on near objects, eyestrain, fatigue, headaches after close work, and difficulty concentrating.
How is Hyperopia diagnosed?
Hyperopia is detected during a comprehensive eye exam through a test called refraction. By using a phoropter, an instrument that determines the type and amount of refractive error present, your eye doctor will determine your exact prescription. In mild cases, your eye may be able to compensate without having to wear corrective lenses. It is important to note that the common vision screenings performed in schools are generally ineffective in detecting hyperopia in children.
What are the treatment options?
Prescription eyeglasses, contact lenses and LASIK surgery (laser vision correction) are treatment options to optically correct hyperopia.