The Eye Institute for Medicine & Surgery
Eye Doctor Melbourne FL
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Hyperopia (Farsightedness)

What is Hyperopia?

Hyperopia (farsightedness), is a refractive error, which means that the eye does not bend or refract light properly to a single focus to see images clearly. In hyperopia, distant objects look somewhat clear, but close objects appear more blurred.

People experience hyperopia differently. Some people may not notice any problems with their vision, especially when they are young. For people with significant hyperopia, vision can be blurry for objects at any distance, near or far. It is an eye focusing disorder, not an eye disease.

What Causes Hyperopia?

In order for our eyes to be able to see, light rays must be bent or refracted by the tear film, the cornea and the lens so they can focus on the retina, the layer of light-sensitive cells lining the back of the eye. The retina receives the picture formed by these light rays and sends the image to the brain through the optic nerve, which is actually a part of the brain.

Hyperopia occurs when the eye is shorter than normal or has a cornea (clear front window of the eye) that is too flat. As a result, light rays focus beyond the retina instead of on it. Generally, this allows you to see distant objects somewhat clearly but near objects will appear more blurred.

Like myopia or nearsightedness, farsightedness is usually inherited. Most children are farsighted, yet they do not experience blurry vision. With focusing (accommodation), children's eyes are able to bend the light rays and place them directly on the retina. As long as the farsightedness is not too severe, hyperopic children will have clear vision for seeing objects at a distance and up close. As the eye grows and becomes longer, hyperopia lessens.

Farsightedness: Hyperopia Symptoms

Some of the signs and symptoms of hyperopia include difficulty with close tasks like reading, eyestrain, squinting and headaches.

Most children are farsighted, yet they do not experience symptoms of blurry vision because their eyes are able to bend the light rays to place them directly on the retina.

Farsightedness: Hyperopia Diagnosis

Your eye doctor can diagnose hyperopia as part of a comprehensive eye examination. He or she will determine if you have hyperopia by using a standard vision test, where you are asked to read letters on a chart placed at the other end of the room, and other measurements.

If the vision test shows that you are farsighted, your doctor will use certain examination devices to learn what is causing the hyperopia. By shining a special light into your eyes, a retinoscope will be used to see how light reflects off your retina. As the light is reflected back from inside the eye, it can indicate whether a person is farsighted or nearsighted.

Farsightedness: Hyperopia Treatment

Eyeglasses or contact lenses are the most common methods of correcting hyperopia symptoms. They work by refocusing light rays on the retina, compensating for the shape of your eye. They can also help protect your eyes from harmful ultraviolet (UV) light rays. A special lens coating that screens out UV light is available.

In other cases, people may choose to correct hyperopia with LASIK or ICL surgery. These surgical procedures are used to correct or improve your vision by reshaping the cornea, or front surface of your eye, effectively adjusting your eye's focusing ability.

There is not adequate scientific evidence to suggest that eye exercises, vitamins or pills can prevent or cure hyperopia. There is no best method for correcting hyperopia. The most appropriate correction for you depends on your eyes and your lifestyle. You should discuss your lifestyle with your eye doctor to decide which correction may be most effective for you.

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