Hyperopia, or farsightedness, is a refractive error in the eye. This means that the eye does not focus light properly on the retina, resulting in blurred vision. People with hyperopia can usually see objects at a distance clearly, but have trouble seeing things up close.
Hyperopia is a common condition and can affect people of all ages. It is usually hereditary and often runs in families. People with hyperopia often have a family history of the condition.
What Causes Hyperopia?
Hyperopia occurs when the eyeball is too short or the cornea (the white part of the eye) is too flat, causing light to be focused behind the retina instead of directly on it. As a result, distant objects appear clear, but close objects appear blurry. Refractive errors like hyperopia are usually present at birth but may also develop later in life.
What Are The Symptoms of Hyperopia?
The most common symptom of hyperopia is blurred vision. People with hyperopia often have difficulty reading or doing other close work. They may also experience eyestrain, headaches, or fatigue. Hyperopia can also cause difficulty with depth perception and night vision.
Hyperopia vs. Myopia
It is important to note that hyperopia is different from myopia or nearsightedness. Myopia occurs when the eyeball is too long, or the cornea is too steep, causing light to be focused in front of the retina instead of directly on it. As a result, close objects are clear, but distant objects are blurry.
Different Types of Hyperopia
There are many different types of hyperopia. Some of them are:
- Axial (simple) Hyperopia: This happens when the eyeball is too short, and this causes light to be focused behind the retina instead of directly on it.
- Compound (curvature) Hyperopia: This type occurs when the cornea is too flat.
- Positional Hyperopia: This type occurs when the eye muscles cannot hold the eyeball in the correct position.
- Index Hyperopia: This type occurs when the lens of the eye is too thick. Index hyperopia is the least common type of hyperopia.
- Secondary Hyperopia: This type occurs when another condition, such as cataracts, glaucoma, or diabetes, affects the eye.
Hyperopia in Children
Up to 14% of school-age children have farsightedness, but it often goes undetected. Hyperopia is often first detected in children during a routine eye exam, and children aged 3-5 are usually tested for hyperopia during their preschool or kindergarten screenings. If high uncorrected hyperopia is not treated, it can cause amblyopia (“lazy eye”). Some of the symptoms of hyperopic children are:
- Headache: Blurry vision often causes headaches. This is because the eye has to work harder to focus on nearby objects.
- Strabismus: This is a condition in which the eyes are not aligned properly or turned inward.
- Eye pain: This can be caused by the eye strain common in hyperopia and can include stinging and tearing of the eye.
- Difficulty at school: Children with hyperopia can have poor performance at school and trouble concentrating on a task.
How Is Hyperopia Diagnosed?
Hyperopia is usually diagnosed during a comprehensive eye exam. Your eye doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. They will perform a number of tests to assess your vision and the health of your eyes. These tests may include a visual acuity test, a refraction test, and an eye focusing test.
How Is Hyperopia Treated?
The most common treatment for hyperopia is glasses or contact lenses. These correct the refractive error and allow the eye to focus light correctly on the retina. If hyperopia is mild, you may not need corrective lenses or treatment. For moderate to high degree of hyperopia, glasses or contacts are usually required for proper refractive correction.
Some people with hyperopia may also have the option for refractive surgery to correct the refractive error. Surgical treatment changes the shape of the cornea so that light is focused correctly on the retina. The most common surgery for hyperopia is laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK). Lasik surgery uses an excimer laser that creates UV light absorbed by the eye tissue.
Vision therapy is another treatment option for hyperopia. Vision therapy is a type of rehabilitation that retrains the eye muscles to work together correctly. It is often used to treat conditions like amblyopia (“lazy eye”) and strabismus (eye turn).
During vision therapy, the eye muscles are exercised to improve coordination and strengthen the eye muscles. This can be done with a number of different exercises, including:
- Eye patches: An eye patch is worn over the stronger eye to force the weaker eye to work harder.
- Prism lenses: Prism lenses train the eyes to work together.
- Eye exercises: Eye exercises are used to improve eye muscle coordination.
- Cognitive tasks: Cognitive tasks are used to improve problem-solving skills and visual processing.
Let Us Help Your Child
Hyperopia can be a minor annoyance or a major problem, depending on its severity. If you have hyperopia, talk to the best eye doctor in Denver about the best treatment options for you. With proper treatment, hyperopia can be managed, and its symptoms can be controlled.
We offer vision appointments at our two locations in Denver: Grove St and Hampden Ave, as well as in Aurora and Thornton. For more information on our locations or the services we offer, email [email protected]. To book an appointment at one of our 4 locations, call (303) 953-8801. We look forward to caring for your vision needs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can hyperopia be corrected with Lasik?
Yes, hyperopia can be corrected with Lasik and PRK. PRK surgery is usually performed on patients with high hyperopia.
Can hyperopia be cured?
There is no cure for hyperopia, but it can be treated with glasses, contact lenses, or surgery.
Is hyperopia genetic?
Yes, hyperopia can be genetic. If you have a family history of hyperopia, you are more likely to develop the condition.
What is the difference between hyperopia and presbyopia?
Presbyopia is a type of farsightedness that occurs with age. It is caused by a loss of elasticity in the eye’s lens. Hyperopia is not related to age and is caused by an abnormality in the shape of the eye.