The Cleveland Clinic

Farsightedness

Introduction

About 1 in 4 people in the U.S. have hyperopia or farsightedness, but fortunately there are more ways to correct this eye disorder than ever before.

People with hyperopia or farsightedness have difficulty focusing on objects close up, such as print in a book. More severe hyperopia would also cause problems with seeing objects in the distance clearly, such as highway signs.

The occurrence of hyperopia increases with age; At least half of all persons over the age of 65 have some degree of farsightedness.

What Causes It?

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Hyperopia is a refractive error, like astigmatism and nearsightedness (myopia). Having a refractive error means that light rays bend incorrectly into your eye to transmit images to the brain. Farsightedness occurs when light entering the eye focuses behind the retina, instead of directly on it. An abnormally flat cornea or short eye can cause the light to enter the eye this way.

Hyperopia often runs in families. It is often present at birth; however, many children outgrow it.

What Are the Symptoms of Farsightedness?

Symptoms of farsightedness may include:

  • Headaches
  • Eye strain
  • Difficulty concentrating or focusing on nearby objects
  • Fatigue or headache after performing a close task such as reading

If you experience these symptoms of hyperopia while wearing your glasses or contact lenses, you may need a new prescription.

How Is Farsightedness Diagnosed?

Farsightedness can be easily diagnosed by a basic eye exam given by your eye doctor.

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