Disorders

Hyperopia (far-sighted) means distance vision is clearer than close vision.

  • The eye is shorter or less curved than normal causing light to focus behind the back of the eye (retina).
  • There is a genetic tendency for hyperopia.
  • Moderate to severe involvement is often present from birth, thus children should have an eye examination between 1-3 years.
  • There is a high risk of developing a permanent lazy eye if undetected.
  • IT CAN BE EASILY MISSED DURING A SCHOOL VISION SCREENING.
  • Farsightedness is usually NOT progressive and can sometimes diminish during adolescence.
  • It is NOT considered an eye disease. A hyperopic eye is a healthy eye which focuses light slightly off target.
  • Farsightedness is corrected with glasses, contact lenses, or refractive surgery.
 
Farsighted eye (focus behind the eye)   Normal eye (focus on the back of the eye)
How print would look with someone who needs reading glasses

SYMPTOMS

  • Difficulty focusing on objects closer than 2 feet
  • Tired eyes, headache, or eyestrain after reading or computer work
  • Red or watering eyes especially when performing close tasks
  • One turned-in eye, especially in infants and children
  • Poor reading and/or school skills
  • Reluctance to do homework or close vision tasks



 

Hyperopia and Children 

  • Infancy:
    Hyperopia is often present at birth and should be addressed within the first year or two of life. Failure to do so could result in poor eye development. This can lead to a crossed and/or lazy eye (Click here for information about amblyopia).
  • School age:
    Hyperopia can only be diagnosed through a comprehensive eye/health examination. Hyperopia often goes undetected, and its symptoms are very subtle to nonexistent. Even though small amounts of farsightedness can be normal, it can adversely affect a child's school performance. Sometimes the only difference between a struggling and a confident student is a pair of reading glasses.

How is hyperopia treated?

  • GLASSES:
    As with other refractive errors, corrective lenses are prescribed to help focus light more effectively on the retina. Depending on the degree of hyperopia, glasses may be needed all of the time for clear vision. If the degree of impairment is slight, glasses may be needed only for reading and computer vision.

    Some times bifocals are given to children to help them better function in school so they don't have to keep taking their glasses on and off when looking at the blackboard.
     
     
    What the print would look like to a child with normal vision.   Here is an example of what a child with farsightedness might see. Can you appreciate the eye strain?
       
  • CONTACT LENSES: Click here for more information.
  • REFRACTIVE SURGERY: Not as common, click here for more information.

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