What is hyperopia?
At any stage in life, you can develop refractive errors that blur or distort your eyesight. One of these eye conditions is farsightedness, otherwise known as hyperopia. So, what is hyperopia exactly?
If your eyes find it hard to focus and you do not see nearby objects clearly, you likely have hyperopia. You can use prescription eyewear to comfortably correct hyperopia and regain clarity when reading a book or taking a photo.
Let’s have a look at what it means to have hyperopia.
What does hyperopia mean?
Hyperopia is a common eye condition where you can see distant objects clearly but may find nearby objects blurry. In short, your eyes focus on distant objects better than on nearby ones. Sometimes, hyperopia is also referred to as hypermetropia.
So, are hyperopia and farsightedness the same? Yes, you can say hyperopia to refer to someone who is farsighted rather than nearsighted (myopia).
However, do not confuse hyperopia with presbyopia, which causes blurry vision while looking at nearby objects.
Presbyopia is the condition where nearby objects appear blurry, even with glasses. It usually develops around the age of 40 and progresses through the age of 60. To help with presbyopia, people use reading glasses or eventually upgrade to more corrective multifocal lenses.
What does hyperopia look like?
See the image below to visualize what it looks like to have hyperopia (farsightedness) compared to ‘normal’ vision:
This problem occurs when rays of light enter your eye and focus behind the retina rather than on it. A hyperopic patient’s eyeball is shorter than average. In fact, many children are born hyperopic but outgrow the condition as their eyeballs grow.
What causes hyperopia, and what are the symptoms?
Hyperopia stems from a refractive error that occurs when your cornea or lens isn’t evenly curved. This leads to improper refraction of light rays.
Causes of hyperopia
Your eye has two parts that focus on images.
1. The cornea is the clear, dome-shaped tissue that forms the front of the eye. It acts as a window and allows light to enter the eye. It helps your eye process light rays to allow you to see words and images.
2. The lens is a transparent and flexible tissue found directly behind the iris and pupil. It helps focus light and images on your retina.
In an eye without refractive error, these eye parts have flawlessly smooth curvatures. All incoming light is refracted (or bent) by the cornea and lens, which creates a tightly focused image on the retina at the rear of the eye.
Light rays aren't correctly refracted if your cornea or lens isn't bent evenly, which results in a refractive error. When your eye is shorter or your cornea is not curved enough, it creates hazy near vision, which is known as hyperopia or farsightedness.
For example, astigmatism is a refractive error that happens when your cornea or lens is bent more sharply in one direction. When left unchecked, this causes blurry vision.
Symptoms of hyperopia
The initial signs of farsightedness are:
• Nearby objects may appear blurry
• Difficulty concentrating or focusing on nearby objects, which may cause squinting
• Eye strain or fatigue when working on something in close range. You may also feel burning eyes and aching around the eyes
When to see a doctor
Getting an eye exam every year, from the age of 40, can help prevent or determine the risk of eye conditions such as glaucoma.
In general, you should follow this exam schedule:
• An initial exam at the age of 40
• Between 40-54, every 2-4 years
• Between 55-64, every 1-3 years
• 65 onwards, every 1-2 years
If you have eye-related health conditions like diabetes or wear glasses regularly, then consult your optician or eye doctor for regular appointments.
Ideally, children should be screened for eye diseases or vision correction by a pediatrician, optometrist, or trained screener with the following schedule:
1. Starting at 6 months
2. An eye test at 3 years
3. Before 1st grade and every 2 years during school years
How to correct hyperopia
There are three main corrections to help with hyperopia:
3. LASIK surgery
Typically, you only need to wear prescription eyeglasses for activities with close-up objects such as reading a book or using the computer. Farsightedness prescriptions are indicated with a plus sign before the corrective value.
High-index aspheric lenses are an excellent option for stronger prescriptions. They can reduce thickness in the centre of the lens, which is typical for higher hyperopic prescriptions. This will make the lenses more appealing and lighter.
For the most comfortable, clear vision, we recommend opting for high-performance Arise HD Clarity lenses. For children, we recommend polycarbonate lenses that are highly durable, lightweight, and impact resistant.
Refractive surgeries such as Lasik help correct hyperopia and reduce or eliminate the need to wear prescription eyeglasses. The surgery may implicate certain side effects, so always consult an eye doctor first.
If you find it difficult to see up close but the objects in the distance are crystal clear, then you may have hyperopia (farsightedness).
An activity as simple as reading a book might be difficult, as your vision finds it hard to focus on the words right in front of you. Untreated hyperopia can cause eye strain, headaches, and eye conditions such as strabismus.
Luckily, you can easily use Prescription glasses or contact lenses to correct farsightedness with any low or high prescription. For a more permanent solution, you can also consider LASIK surgery after a consultation with your eye doctor.
At Vision Direct, you can find a range of prescription glasses and contact lenses that can meet any prescription, from single vision to progressive lenses. We are here to help you correct hyperopia through quality eyeglasses and sunglasses with endless styles and colours.