Hyperopia, or farsightedness, is not a condition as widespread as nearsightedness. Yet it is also a common refractive error—or imperfection of the eye—that can be inherited and eventually needs correction. When you are farsighted, you can see distant objects clearly while objects that are close-up appear blurry.
There is no way to prevent farsightedness and it affects both children and adults. It occurs naturally when your eyeball is shorter than usual or when your lens or cornea—the domed front of your eye—is irregularly shaped. These imperfections prevent the eye from focusing entering light rays at the proper point.
It is believed that most people are born with some farsightedness, yet the experience and timing varies. Many individuals do not notice it when they are young, because the natural lenses are very flexible and compensate focus for some time. As the eye ages, the focusing problem becomes impossible to mask, at which time they are diagnosed by an eye care professional.
With mild farsightedness you may still see fairly well at close-up range, but with higher degrees you may have trouble seeing both near and far. Some of the common symptoms and signs of hyperopia are:
- blurred vision at close range
- aching eyes
- headaches after long periods reading or doing close-up tasks
- crossed eyes (in some children)
As with other eye conditions, being farsighted and not having the proper correction can get in the way of our lives. In children, in particular, hyperopia may deter their progress and engagement at school. They are also at greater risk for crossed eyes. For adults, safety and wellness is also a concern, as eyestrain and headaches can mount and performing tasks that need intense or delicate close-up work can become difficult.
See an eye care professional if you experience symptoms, and when diagnosed, start your treatment as soon as possible. Hyperopia is corrected easily and effectively with eyeglasses, contact lenses or eye surgery. For many people, contact lenses offer a sharper, wider field of vision than eyeglasses and provide greater comfort.1 They also come in a variety of replacement schedules—daily, weekly or monthly—to fit conveniently into your lifestyle.
To learn more about farsightedness, its symptoms and treatments, visit myeyes.com.