Hyperopia (also called “farsightedness”) is a refractive error of the eye (like myopia and astigmatism). Refractive errors negatively influence the way light interacts with the retina, resulting in visual distortion, blurriness, and other symptoms.
When someone is farsighted they have difficulty viewing objects up close, while their distance vision is generally unimpacted. Someone who is farsighted will have a hard time reading or using the computer but will have no problems reading distant road signs or seeing objects that are across the room.
When light enters the eye it is supposed to focus on the retina (the part of your eye responsible for interpreting light into a signal that can be displayed by the brain). However, on a farsighted person, the focal point is behind the retina instead of on top of it. This results in blurry, hazy vision.
Most people have hyperopia since childhood, though many will outgrow it over time. Children with farsighted parents are more likely to have farsightedness themselves.
Farsightedness is generally diagnosed during a standard eye exam. During the exam the Optometrist will perform several tests – such as a visual field test, a visual acuity test, and an autorefractor test – that will indicate the presence of hyperopia.
Refractive errors are physical abnormalities of the eye and can not be treated with oral medications or eye drops.
Hyperopia, like other refractive errors, is generally straightforward to treat and can be done via numerous non-invasive methods (such as corrective lenses) or surgery.
The most common method of treatment for hyperopia is the use of corrective lenses via eyeglasses. The lenses will correct the refractive error and influence how light enters the eye. In so doing, they correct the problem and facilitate improved vision.
Similar to eyeglasses in method, but different in form, contact lenses alter the way light enters the eye and thus correct the refractive error. Unlike eyeglasses, contact lenses do not change your appearance and are preferred by many as a result.
Laser Eye Surgery
Laser refractive surgery is a safe and effective way to correct hyperopia. These surgeries are heavily advertised as “LASIK”, “LASEK”, or “PRK”, which are names of various versions of the procedure.
During the surgery, the surgeon uses a powerful laser to correct the refractive error. The result of a successful procedure is the elimination of the need to use corrective lenses. In most cases, correction is long-term and often permanent.
In some cases, your eye may regress back into a state of refractive error. This can usually be corrected via a second procedure.