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Farsightedness - Causes, Symptoms, Types, and Treatment

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Farsightedness or hyperopia is when nearby things blur out, and only the farthest objects can be seen clearly. It is primarily seen in children.

Written by

Dr. Sumithra. S

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Gargi Madhukar Apte

Published At August 23, 2022
Reviewed AtMay 14, 2024

Introduction:

The eye is vital in processing actions happening around us. While playfully blindfolding the eyes, many would have felt that the complete body was not working. This is simply because the eyes collect the information for the whole body to function. If any infection or errors affect the eyes, the quality of life will be significantly affected. Farsightedness is one condition that affects eyes predominantly in children where nearby objects cannot be seen clearly.

What Is Farsightedness?

Farsightedness, also called hyperopia and long-sightedness, is when nearby objects cannot be adequately seen. It is due to the corneal layer and lens of the eye, as it does not bend the light correctly that it is unable to be focussed on the retina, which is where a clear image is formed. Due to this, the image will be formed behind the retina. It can affect both children and adults.

What Are the Types of Farsightedness or Hyperopia?

It is mainly classified into three types based on the causes.

  • Simple Hyperopia - It is the developmental variations in the eyeball that cause hyperopia. The distant objects are seen more clearly than near objects.

  • Pathological Hyperopia - Caused by an infection or an injury. Both near and far objects are blurred.

  • Functional Hyperopia - Dysfunction of the accommodation of the eye. It allows clear vision and causes eye strain.

It is divided into three groups based on the severity of the condition.

  • Low - If the refractive power is less than or equal to +2 diopters (lens power is measured in diopters).

  • Moderate - If the refractive power exceeds +2 diopters and +5 diopters.

  • High - If the refractive power is greater than +5 diopters.

What Are the Causes of Farsightedness?

  • This condition occurs when the light entering the eye is not bent enough. The cornea and the lens are the two curved layers responsible for bending the light entering the eye and focusing the light on the retina to obtain a sharp and clear image. When the cornea and the lens are not curved adequately, or the eyeball is smaller than usual, an incomplete image is formed, causing farsightedness or hyperopia. This is commonly caused by a refractive error.

  • Posterior dislocation of the lens causes hyperopia.

  • The eyeball shape is shorter than normal.

  • Previous eye surgeries or injuries.

What Are the Risk Factors of Farsightedness?

The possible risk factors of farsightedness include,

  • Family history of hyperopia.

  • Diabetes.

  • Old age.

  • Tumors around the eye.

What Are the Symptoms of Farsightedness?

The ones affected by farsightedness will experience the following symptoms.

  • The near objects placed cannot be seen.

  • Squint to see an object.

  • Have a strained eye or headache after doing tasks like reading, writing, painting, and computer work.

  • Burning eye sensation and pain in and around the eyes.

  • Headaches, particularly after performing close-up tasks for prolonged periods.

The person may see a doctor if they experience persistent eye symptoms and if they face difficulty performing daily tasks.

How to Diagnose Farsightedness?

A person should undergo eye examination regularly to eliminate the chances of acquiring complicated conditions. The routine examination varies depending on the age and medical conditions present. It is better to seek care from an ophthalmologist if any problem with the vision is noticed. The healthcare provider may advise the following tests to diagnose farsightedness or hyperopia.

  • Retinoscopy: This test is most preferred in pediatric patients. A handheld retinoscopy is used to project light into the patient's eye (dilated with eye drops) to determine the eye's refractive error.

  • Phoropter: If a refractive error condition is predicted, the patient will have to undergo this test. This phoropter consists of different lenses, and the eyes of the patient are tested with each one of the lenses to determine the condition.

  • Dilation Test: Another standard test uses eye drops to dilate the pupil so that the retina can be studied clearly. Other refractive errors diagnosed with these tests include nearsightedness, presbyopia, and astigmatism.

  • Autorefractor Keratometer: It is a computerized tool used to measure the different refractive errors of the eyes. It also aids in determining the correct lens for a particular condition.

How to Manage Hyperopia or Farsightedness?

Farsightedness can be managed by following methods:

  • Conservative Treatment: The most conservative method to treat hyperopia is refractive eyeglasses and contact lenses. Convex lenses are used to correct farsightedness. In addition, convex lenses are incorporated to increase the refraction.

  • Surgical Management: Surgical correction of farsightedness has shown better results. The most commonly done procedures include laser in-situ keratomileusis and photorefractive keratectomy. Both these methods involve reshaping the corneal surface for it to function efficiently.

What Are the Lifestyle Methods and Home Remedies for Farsightedness?

The lifestyle methods and home remedies for farsightedness are as follows:

  • Regular eye examinations to monitor the vision.

  • Ensure adequate lighting when doing close work to reduce strain.

  • Practice eye exercises by alternatingly focusing on near and distant objects or rolling the eyes in different directions.

  • Maintain a balanced diet.

  • Limit screen time.

  • Stay hydrated to reduce eye dryness.

How Can Farsightedness or Hyperopia Be Prevented?

The preventive measures for farsightedness are as follows:

  • Nutritious Diet: Including green vegetables in the diet shows promising results. In addition, omega-3 fatty acids present in the fish are an excellent source to prevent eye conditions.

  • Routine Eye Examination: Screening the eyes regularly as per age and health conditions will help prevent or diagnose conditions as soon as possible.

  • Wear Sunglasses: It is always good to wear sunglasses when heading out (even on a cloudy day) to prevent the light from affecting the eyes.

  • Rest the Eyes: It is suggested to take a break once in a while to prevent straining the eyes while reading, watching television, etc.

What Are the Complications of Farsightedness?

Untreated farsightedness can result in complications like,

  • Crossed Eyes: Few children might develop crossed eyes along with farsightedness. Refractive eyeglasses usually correct it.

  • Quality of Life: If farsightedness is left untreated for a long time, then it will interfere with daily activities and will not allow them to perform as they wish.

  • Farsightedness can cause headaches and eye strain due to squinting and straining while seeing things close by.

  • The safety and others' safety will be kept at stake if the eye condition is left untreated.

What Is the Prognosis of Farsightedness?

The prognosis is good with surgical management. However, even with eyeglasses and contact lenses, there is a high chance that the condition will worsen. Therefore, regular eye check-ups are required to check the refractive power, and if it changes, the eyeglasses or the contact lenses should also be adjusted accordingly.

Conclusion

Only with proper management can this condition be resolved. As it affects children predominantly, this condition can be diagnosed only with regular check-ups most of the time. Having a nutritious diet, regular eye check-ups, and wearing sunglasses will prevent hyperopia to a greater extent. If the person faces difficulty in performing daily tasks, such as driving, painting, and reading, they must contact a healthcare professional.

Dr. Gargi Madhukar Apte
Dr. Gargi Madhukar Apte

Ophthalmology (Eye Care)

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hyperopiafarsighted
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