Farsightedness
En Español (Spanish Version)

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

Light rays are precisely focused on the retina (orange) in good vision.
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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.




RESOURCES:
American Academy of Ophthalmology

National Eye Institute

CANADIAN RESOURCES:
Canadian Ophthalmological Society


References:
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.

Last Reviewed June 2014



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