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Farsightedness

Definition

People with farsightedness, or hyperopia, usually have difficulty seeing close objects. In severe cases, they can have trouble seeing objects both far and near.

Causes

Farsightedness is a type of refractive error, which means the shape of the eye does not bend light correctly, so images are blurred. In farsightedness, the eyeball is too short for light rays to clearly focus on the retina.

Interior of the Eye
eye anatomy 2
Light rays are precisely focused on the retina (orange) in good vision.
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Risk Factors

Farsightedness is more likely to occur in people who have family members with the same condition.

Symptoms

Symptoms may include:

  • Difficulty focusing on objects up close
  • Blurred vision
  • Headache
  • Eyestrain

Young adults with farsightedness often do not have symptoms. However, they may need reading glasses at an earlier age than their peers.

Diagnosis

A specialist will ask about your symptoms and medical history. You will be given an eye exam and checked to see if prescription lenses will help improve your vision.

Treatment

Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Options include:

Corrective Lenses

Farsightedness can be treated using corrective lenses, such as eyeglasses or contact lenses. You will be seen at regular intervals to assess your vision and determine if your corrective lenses prescription needs to change.

Refractive Surgery

If you elect to undergo the procedure, certain forms of farsightedness may be treated with refractive surgery. The surgeries used to treat farsightedness focus on changing the shape of the cornea to increase the eye's ability to focus. Many of these procedures are done using lasers.

Prevention

There are no current guidelines to prevent farsightedness.

Revision Information

  • Reviewer: Eric Berman, MD
  • Review Date: 06/2014 -
  • Update Date: 07/17/2014 -
  • American Academy of Ophthalmology

    http://www.aao.org

  • National Eye Institute

    http://www.nei.nih.gov

  • Canadian Ophthalmological Society

    http://www.eyesite.ca

  • Health Canada

    http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca

  • Facts about hyperopia. National Eye Institute website. Available at: http://www.nei.nih.gov/health/errors/hyperopia.asp. Updated October 2010. Accessed July 17, 2014.

  • Farsightedness: hyperopia treatment. American Academy of Ophthalmology website. Available at: http://www.geteyesmart.org/eyesmart/diseases/hyperopia-treatment.cfm. Updated September 1, 2013. Accessed July 17, 2014.

  • Hyperopia (farsightedness). American Optometric Association website. Available at: http://www.aoa.org/patients-and-public/eye-and-vision-problems/glossary-of-eye-and-vision-conditions/hyperopia. Accessed July 17, 2014.

  • Hyperopia (farsightedness). University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center website.

    Available at: http://www.kellogg.umich.edu/patientcare/conditions/hyperopia.html. Accessed July 17, 2014.