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Everything You Need to Know about Farsightedness

Thursday, May 8, 2014 @ 07:05 AM
Author: Amit Mathur

Everything You Need to Know about Farsightedness
When you focus your camera on a point in the distance, such as a landscape, and then try to take a picture of something close by, like a flower, the view will be a bit blurry. The camera has to be re-focused for it to get a clear picture.

Your eyesight works much like a camera. It needs to re-focus on items at different distances. When your eyes can focus on items that are far away but items that are close up are blurry, that is called farsightedness, or hyperopia. The English call it being longsighted.

Causes of Farsightedness

Like other vision problems, farsightedness can be caused by different factors, though genetics is the most frequent cause. Most people are farsighted from birth.

In a person who is farsighted, the eye is often too short compared with the lens or the lens is too flat (the exact opposite condition of eyes that are nearsighted). The eye does not have enough power to retain focus as objects become closer.

Those who have hyperopia may also suffer from:

  • Asthenopia, or eye strain
  • Amblyopia, or lazy eye
  • Strabismus, or the misalignment of the eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Accommodative dysfunction
  • Binocular dysfunction

Different types of farsightedness are possible, depending on the severity or how it manifests itself. These include:

  • Simple hyperopia, which can be related to the length of the eye’s axis or the shape of the retina
  • Pathological hyperopia, which is the result of irregular eye shape caused by disease, poor development or injury
  • Functional hyperopia, which is the result of paralysis in part of the eye

Understanding the type of hyperopia you have and the cause for it is important to understanding how to treat it.

Signs and Symptoms

The most obvious sign that you may be farsighted is that you have a hard time focusing on objects that are close up but can see things at a distance more clearly. However, you may also notice a few other symptoms if you are suffering from hyperopia. These can include:

  • Eye strain
  • Headaches, especially while trying to do activities that require close vision, such as reading
  • Crossed eyes, especially in children
  • Lazy eye

It is important to take note of all the signs and symptoms you notice, however minor they may seem. Not only will this information be helpful for an eye doctor to diagnose your farsightedness, but it will also help an eye doctor rule out any other eye conditions you may be experiencing.


You may feel fairly confident of your own diagnosis of farsightedness based on the symptoms you are experiencing. However, it is critical that you see a qualified eye doctor to get a diagnosis. It is possible that you could have another eye condition, so proper diagnosis is essential for getting the right treatment.

Diagnosing hyperopia begins with a thorough eye exam. This may include:

  • Vision testing
  • Movement testing
  • Measurement of eye pressure
  • Examining the retina

During an exam, and eye doctor will examine your eyes to assess the shape and the movement. The eye doctor will also use special tools to look at the structure of your eye, taking note of any abnormalities found in the retina or the other structures of the eye.

A typical vision test will also detect any problems with focusing on objects that are close up.


If farsightedness is diagnosed, the most common plan for treatment is to write a prescription for prescriptive lenses. You can put the glasses on when you need to see up close, such as when reading, and take them off when performing long-range activities, such as driving.

If your farsightedness is severe, or it significantly impacts your quality of life, you may be a candidate for corrective surgery. Some potential options for corrective surgery include:

  • PRK
  • Radial Keratocoagulation
  • Thermokeratoplasty

These surgeries work to correct the shape of the cornea to improve the lens’ ability to focus. Convex lenses may also be implanted in the eye, helping to correct the focusing problem.

By getting a comprehensive eye exam and working with an eye doctor who is experienced in treating hyperopia, you can better understand your range of options for treatment. Your eye doctor can make recommendations that are best suited for your individual circumstances. By getting the right treatment, you can improve your quality of life and potentially prevent the progression of the condition and the further degradation of your vision.

Since farsightedness can be present with a variety of other vision problems, working with an eye doctor can also help you uncover any other underlying problems and treat them as early as possible. Untreated farsightedness can increase your risk for other vision problems, such as glaucoma, crossed eyes and acute angle closure. Other untreated vision problems can also increase your risk for more serious conditions down the road.

Farsightedness can certainly be a nuisance. You may find yourself squinting just to read a page that is a few inches from your face. It can make it difficult to complete school work or to perform at work. Getting the right treatment can not only make it easier for you to get through your day, but it can also remove obstacles you may be having to success in your studies or your career. If you are experiencing the signs and symptoms of farsightedness, make an appointment with an experienced eye doctor today and get a thorough exam.

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