Farsightedness | Ophthalmology | Loyola Medicine

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Overview and Facts about Farsightedness

Farsightedness, or hyperopia, is an ocular condition characterized by the ability to see far objects more clearly than you can see close objects. It occurs because of the eye’s inability to focus light correctly onto the retina. Farsightedness is common and can affect both children and adults. However, symptoms may become more noticeable with age.

Signs and Symptoms of Farsightedness

Farsightedness symptoms can be mild or severe, depending on the severity of the farsightedness. Symptoms can also vary from person to person. However, the most common symptom is blurred vision when attempting to focus on objects that are nearby.

Common farsightedness symptoms include:

  • Blurred vision, especially for objects close to you
  • Eye strain and fatigue
  • Eye discomfort, such as burning and aching
  • Headaches
  • Squinting
  • Problems performing certain tasks, such as writing, reading and computer work
  • Crossed eyes (common in children with the condition)

Causes and Risk Factors of Farsightedness

Farsightedness may occur if the eyeball or cornea is too flat. Individuals with parents who are farsighted are more likely to have farsightedness themselves. Abnormal cornea or lens anatomy and structure is often present at birth but can change as you age.

Tests and Diagnosis of Farsightedness

A doctor performs a comprehensive eye exam to diagnose farsightedness and determine whether the farsightedness is due to irregular cornea or lens anatomy. A comprehensive dilated eye exam, which involves the use of special eye drops, helps the doctor see more clearly into the eye and observe the how light refracts toward the retina.

Treatment and Care for Farsightedness

Eyeglasses, contacts or refractive vision correction can treat poor eyesight due to farsightedness. Refractive vision correction can permanently change the shape of the cornea and thus change the way light refracts toward the retina. However, eyeglasses and contact lenses are the simplest way to correct nearsightedness.