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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:
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.
How Is Farsightedness Corrected?
To correct hyperopia you must change the way the light rays bend when entering your eye. Glasses, contact lenses, or refractive surgery can all be used to correct farsightedness.
Depending on the extent of your farsightedness, you may need to wear your glasses or contact lenses at all times, or only when you need to see objects up close, like when reading or sewing. With hyperopia, your prescription is a positive number, such as +3.00. The higher the number, the stronger your lenses will be.
If wearing contacts or glasses isn't for you, refractive surgery can reduce or even eliminate your dependence on glasses or contact lenses. The most common procedures to correct hyperopia include:
An even newer procedure for correcting mild hyperopia is the implantation of plastic corneal rings called Intacs, which also alter the shape of the cornea. One advantage of the rings is that they can be left in place permanently, or they may be removed in case of a problem or adjusted should a prescription change become necessary.
Talk to your eye doctor about which treatment is best for you.
Reviewed by the doctors at The Cleveland Clinic Cole Eye Institute.
Edited by Charlotte E. Grayson, MD, WebMD, October 2004.
Portions of this page © The Cleveland Clinic 2000-2004
Last Editorial Review: 6/21/2005
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