Text Size: SmallMediumLarge

Farsightedness (Hyperopia)

Farsightedness or hyperopia occurs when light entering the eye focuses behind the retina, instead of directly on it. This is caused by a cornea that is flatter, or an eye that is shorter, than a normal eye. Farsighted people usually have trouble seeing up close, but may also have difficulty seeing far away as well.

Young people with mild to moderate hyperopia are often able to see clearly because their natural lens can adjust, or accommodate to increase the eye's focusing ability. However, as the eye gradually loses the ability to accommodate (beginning at about 40 years of age), blurred vision from hyperopia often becomes more apparent.

Signs and Symptoms
• Difficulty seeing up close
• Blurred distance vision (occurs with higher amounts of hyperopia)
• Eye fatigue when reading
• Eye strain (headaches, pulling sensation, burning)
• Crossed eyes in children

Detection and Diagnosis
Hyperopia is detected with a vision test called a refraction. Young patients' eyes are dilated for this test so they are unable to mask their farsightedness with accommodation. This is called a wet refraction.

Treatment
The treatment for hyperopia depends on several factors such as the patient's age, activities and occupation. Young patients may or may not require glasses or contact lenses, depending on their ability to compensate for their farsightedness with accommodation. Glasses or contact lenses are required for older patients.

Refractive surgery is an option for adults who wish to see clearly without glasses. LASIK, Clear Lens Extraction And Replacement, LTK and intraocular contact lenses are all procedures that can be performed to correct hyperopia.


Images and information related to Eye Conditions on this website have been kindly provided courtesy of St. Luke's Cataract & Laser Institute and adapted for the International Guide Dog Federation website. This on-line information is for educational and communication purposes only and should not be construed as personal medical advice. Information published on this website is not intended to replace, supplant, or augment a consultation with an eye care professional regarding the viewer/user's own medical care. The International Guide Dog Federation disclaims any and all liability for injury or other damages that could result from use of the information obtained from this site