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Farsightedness (hyperopia)

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Farsightedness (hyperopia) is a common vision condition in which you can see objects in the distance clearly, but objects nearby are blurry. If you're farsighted, your eye is probably too short from front to back, causing light rays to be focused behind rather than on the back of your eye (retina).

The degree of your farsightedness determines your focusing ability. People who are severely farsighted are able to see clearly only objects that are a great distance away from their eyes. If you're mildly farsighted, you may be able to see clearly objects that are closer to you.

Farsightedness usually is present at birth and tends to run in families. Most young people don't know they have the condition because the lens of their eye is flexible enough to compensate for the condition. Therefore, most young people with farsightedness don't need corrective lenses. But as they age, the lens becomes less elastic and unable to make the necessary adjustment. By middle age, most farsighted people need corrective lenses to improve their near vision.

A basic eye exam can confirm farsightedness. You can easily correct this condition with eyeglasses or contact lenses. Another treatment option is surgery.

Signs and symptoms 

Being farsighted may mean:

  • Nearby objects appear blurry.

  • You need to squint to see clearly.

  • You have eyestrain, including aching or burning eyes and, rarely, a headache.

  • You experience general eye discomfort after doing close tasks, such as reading, writing or drawing.

Causes 

Your eye has two parts that focus images — the cornea, the clear front surface of your eye, and the lens, a clear structure inside your eye that changes shape to help focus objects. In a perfectly shaped eye, each of these focusing elements has a perfectly smooth curvature like the surface of a rubber ball. A cornea and lens with such curvature bend (refract) all incoming light the same way, making a sharply focused image on the back of your eye (retina).

However, if your cornea or lens isn't evenly and smoothly curved, light rays aren't refracted properly, and you have a refractive error. Farsightedness is one type of refractive error. It occurs when your cornea is curved too little or your eye is shorter than normal. Instead of being focused precisely on your retina, light is focused behind your retina, resulting in a blurry appearance for close-up objects.

In addition to farsightedness, other refractive errors include:

  • Nearsightedness (myopia). This occurs when your cornea is curved too much or your eye is longer than normal. The effect is the opposite of farsightedness. Light is focused in front of your retina, making faraway objects blurry. You're able to see nearby objects clearly.

  • Astigmatism. This occurs when your cornea or lens is curved more steeply in one direction than in another. Uncorrected astigmatism blurs your vision. Typically, the blurred vision occurs more in one direction than in another — horizontally, vertically or diagonally.

When to seek medical advice 

If your degree of farsightedness is pronounced enough that you can't perform a task as well as you wish, or if your quality of vision detracts from your enjoyment of activities, see an eye doctor. He or she can determine the degree of your farsightedness and advise you of options to correct your vision.

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Disclaimer

This information is provided for general medical education purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the independent medical judgment of a physician relative to diagnostic and treatment options of a specific patient's medical condition.
In no event will The DrEddyClinic.com be liable for any decision made or action taken in reliance upon the information provided through this web site.

 

 



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