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Farsightedness (Hyperopia)

Do you have trouble when trying to view objects close to you, but can clearly see those at a distance? This is an indication of farsightedness.

Farsightedness, also known as hyperopia, hypermetropia or long sightedness is a medical condition that causes your eyes to use xtra effort when trying to focus on objects close up. You may experience headaches, eye strain or a blurred vision, after looking at close up objects for a long time. Children with hyperopia may also experience difficulties when reading.

Long sightedness is not considered a disease. Rather, it is an indication that there is a variation in the shape of your eyeballs. Your optometrist will determine whether you need corrective lenses after conducting a comprehensive eye exam, which shows the degree of your variation.

What Causes Farsightedness?

The most common cause of farsightedness is a short eyeball. If your eyeball is shorter from front to the back, you will start experiencing difficulties in viewing objects that are close by. In other cases, hyperopia is as a result of your cornea having a little curvature, than is normal.

There are other factors that can lead to this condition, including heredity. The reason why eyeball shape varies with different people is yet to be established.

How Does Farsightedness Affect Sight?

When light enters your eye through the cornea, its rays are refracted by the shape of the cornea, eyeball and the eye lens. During refraction, light is focused into a precise spot on your retina, giving you the ability to see.

However, in hyperopia, the eyeball is too short. This means that light is focused behind the retina, resulting into a disk shaped area of light on the correct area on the retina, blurring your vision.

How Is It Diagnosed And Treated?

Hyperopia can only be diagnosed through a comprehensive eye examination, which allows your doctor to check both your near and far vision. However, this condition is rarely diagnosed in eye screening tests conducted at schools.

Before establishing the most suitable plan, you will be required to provide information regarding your daily activities, lifestyle, occupation and general health status. Your optometrist will use the information obtained to make an evaluation, as to whether there are activities that may be contributing to your hyperopia, and if you need corrective lenses.

They may also need to use eye drops during your examination to dilate the eye and relax your eye muscles, ensuring that the full degree of hyperopia is detected.

Reason being, the muscles in charge of focusing your eyes to objects usually go into spasm and cannot relax because they are accustomed to being used to compensate for your hyperopia. This is why your doctors will use the eye drops to help the muscles relax.

An optometrist will prescribe corrective convex lenses with positive powers to treat farsightedness. This is because they bend light more sharply, bringing it to the retina’s focus, which allows you to see more clearly.

For patients without additional vision problems such as astigmatism, doctors recommend wearing the corrective lenses for tasks at a close range, such as reading.

Following your treatment, we require that our patients come back at regular intervals, for additional comprehensive eye examinations. This allows us to detect any minor changes in your vision early enough, and offer suitable treatment options, that will allow you to live  a comfortable life, with a clear vision.