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Hyperopia – Farsightedness

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Hyperopia is a common condition also known as farsightedness in which objects in the distance are easier to see than objects up close. This vision problem can occur in both children and adults, although as children mature they can often outgrow hyperopia as the eye reshapes over time.
Everyday tasks such as being on a handheld device, computer screen, reading or performing intricate tasks such as sewing cause eye fatigue and strain after long periods of time. This results in blurry vision. Performing work at close range can become difficult with untreated Hyperopia.

Common Causes of Hyperopia

As light enters the eye, it should reach the retina at the proper length to produce images which are in focus at any range. Those with farsightedness have an eye that is too short, causing the retina to sit too close. Light then falls behind the retina and images at close range become blurry. A shallow curvature in the cornea can also cause this. Hyperopia may result from environmental factors such as repeated eye strain.
Genetic predispositions are another factor to take into account. Most children are born with some form of Hyperopia but by the age of 5, have fully outgrown it. It can be difficult to determine if a child is afflicted before school-age, but those who can identify their symptoms are often easily diagnosed. We strongly recommend annual eye exams for children.

Signs and Symptoms

Identifying farsightedness is simple and typically diagnosed through a comprehensive eye exam, although it can also be confused with another condition called presbyopia which is caused by something very different. The common signs and symptoms of Hyperopia are:

  • Poor control when focusing
  • Spasms of focus to unfocus at close range
  • Eye Strain
  • Fatigue or headaches after working in close range
  • Difficulty concentrating on close range work

Treating Hyperopia

In some cases, your eyes can compensate enough that you are able to maintain vision consistently with farsightedness, but for long periods of time fatigue can set in and it is best to wear corrective lenses. A qualified optometrist can determine what level of correction is necessary and how frequent you will need to wear your lenses. Often, in mild cases occasional reading glasses may be the only intervention needed.
For some, daily wear of eyeglasses or contacts may be their only option to maintain optimal vision and thwart daily headaches when working at close range. Refractive surgery, such as LASIK, is another option for those who qualify. This is a permanent and simple procedure which reshapes the cornea lens to correct any refractive errors.

Written by Dr. Scott Mundle

A University of Waterloo graduate (class of 1983), Dr. Mundle became a partner with Henderson Vision Centre just one year later. Dr. Mundle has been an integral part of Henderson Vision Centre ever since.
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