- Farsightedness Center
- Laser Eye Surgery Pictures Slideshow
- Anatomy of the Eye
- Your Eyewear Guide for Vision
- Find a local Eye Doctor in your town
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 Farsightedness?
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:
- 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 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:
- PRK. During a photorefractive keratectomy a laser is used to flatten the cornea so that light rays can focus closer to, or even on the retina.
- LASIK. During laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis, a flap is cut through the top of the cornea, a laser removes some corneal tissue, and then the flap is dropped back into place. LASIK is the most common surgery used to correct farsightedness.
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
IMAGESSee an example of farsigntedness and other eye diseases and conditions See Images
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Top Farsightedness Related Articles
Astigmatism and Your EyesAstigmatism is a common eye condition that's easily corrected by eyeglasses, contact lenses, or surgery. Symptoms of astigmatism are headaches, fatigue, eyestrain and blurred vision.
AstigmatismAstigmatism is an eye condition in which the cornea is abnormally curved and causes out-of-focus vision. Symptoms of astigmatism may include eye strain, squinting, eye fatigue, and headaches. Most astigmatism arises within the cornea although some forms occur in the lens. Astigmatism is diagnosed via a complete eye exam. Some cases of astigmatism can be treated with corrective eyewear. Astigmatism can also be treated with LASIK surgery.
Eye Care and Eye Disorder
Many common eye disorders resolve without treatment and some may be managed with over-the-counter (OTC) products. It's important to visit a physician or ophthalmologist is the problem involves the eyeball itself or the condition hasn't improved after 72 hours of use of an eye-care OTC product.
Common Eye ProblemsEye diseases can cause damage and blindness if not treated soon enough. Learn the warning signs and symptoms of common eye conditions such as glaucoma, cataracts, pink eye, macular degeneration and more.
Eye StrainEye strain is a symptom caused by looking at something for a long time. Symptoms and signs include redness, light sensitivity, headaches, and blurred vision. Symptoms may be treated by closing the eyes and taking a break from the visual task.
Farsightedness PictureAbout one in four people in the U.S. have hyperopia or farsightedness, in which people have difficulty focusing on close objects. See a picture of Farsightedness and learn more about the health topic.
GlaucomaGlaucoma is a common eye condition in which the fluid pressure inside the eye rises because of slowed fluid drainage from the eye. If untreated, glaucoma may damage the optic nerve and other parts of the eye, causing the loss of vision or even blindness.
LASEK Laser Eye SurgeryLASEK is a type of laser surgery that is used to correct astigmatism, nearsightedness, and farsightedness. The procedure involves cutting the outer layer of the cornea with a fine blade to correct vision. Potential side effects include dry eyes, cloudy vision, reduced vision, and the sensation of having a foreign object in the eye.
LASIK Eye SurgeryLASIK (laser in situ keratomileusis) eye surgery is a procedure in which a laser is used beneath the corneal flap to reshape the cornea. This process is used to treat refractive errors, improve vision, and eliminate or reduce the need for contact lenses or glasses. LASIK eye surgery comes in three main types: conventional LASIK, wavefront-optimized LASIK, and wavefront-guided LASIK.
LTK Laser Eye SurgeryLTK is a type of laser eye surgery that is used to treat farsightedness and astigmatism. The procedure involves using a laser to shrink and reshape the cornea. Potential side effects include sensitivity to light and the sensation of having a foreign object in the eye.
Photorefractive KeratectomyPRK is a type of laser eye surgery that is used to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. The procedure involves using a laser to reshape the cornea. Potential side effects include seeing a mirror glare, seeing mild halos, and loss of best vision achieved with glasses.