What is hyperopia?
Hyperopia, or farsightedness, is when you see things that are far better than close things. Your eyes focus better on distant objects than close ones.
Children with mild to moderate farsightedness can see both near and far without glasses because the muscles and lenses of the eyes can squint very well and overcome farsightedness.
Types of hyperopia
Dependent on the etiology and intensity of the disease, hyperopia can be of altered type. Each type will be discussed under separate subheadings.
Physiological hyperopia: In this case, hyperopia occurs because the axial length of the eye is shorter than the refractive components necessary for light to focus on the retina. The main causes of this type of hyperopia are the following:
- Genetic factors aggravated by environmental conditions
- Damage of curvature of the cornea, top to a flatter surface
- Inadequate power of the lens
- Increased lens thickness
- Very short axial length
- Abnormal separation of the components of the eye
Causes of hyperopia
Hyperopia can be due to anatomical and genetic factors. The structural causes of the disease are as follows:
- A weakness of the ciliary muscles
- Low convergence power of the ocular lens
- Abnormal shape of the cornea
- Defective blood vessels in the retina
Certain pre-existing diseases can also precipitate hyperopia.
- Cancer around the eye
- Small eye syndrome (microphthalmia)
In some cases, farsightedness is genetic and inherited. Very often babies have the problem of hyperopia at the time of birth. But this problem solves itself since newborns have very flexible eye lenses. A particular type of farsightedness called presbyopia occurs only in old age, as the lenses of the eye lose their flexibility and become rigid with age.
Risk factors for hyperopia
Although the main risk factors for myopia in school-age children are known to include family history, environment, and ethnicity, less is known about risk factors for hyperopia. No previous population-based study has addressed this problem in preschool-age children.
Symptoms of hyperopia
Hyperopia is categorized by trouble seeing distant objects. These are some of the symptoms of the disease:
- Objects located at a distance are blurred
- Nearby objects appear normal
- Tiredness and tension in the eyes (asthenopia)
- Problems in binocular adjustments
- Lazy eye (amblyopia)
- The tendency to squint for clearer vision (strabismus)
- Problems in three-dimensional vision (depth perception)
- Both eyes do not work at the same time (can cause squinting)
- Lacrimation of the eyes (occasional)
- General uncomfortable vision
- Recurring headaches
- The inward turn of the eyes
- Loss of vision (end-stage)
Diagnosis of hyperopia
All that is needed to diagnose hyperopia is a basic eye exam. Your doctor will ask you to read a table across the room. If that test shows farsightedness, they will use a device called a retinoscope to see how light reflects off the retina. They will also use a phoropter, a testing device, to help them decide the best prescription for glasses or contact lenses.
Eye exams for adults
The American Academy of Ophthalmology says that adults who have not had vision problems should have an eye exam at age 40. Get eye exams every 2 to 4 years between the ages of 40 and 54. Between ages 55 and 64, get tested every 1 to 3 years. If you are 65 or older, get tested every 1 to 2 years.
If you have diabetes, high blood pressure, or a family history of eye disease, don’t wait until you’re 40 to get an eye exam. Your doctor may also want you to come more often.
Eye exams for children
Experts recommend that babies’ eye health be checked when they are between 6 months and 1-year-old. Children should also have eye exams between the ages of 3 and 3½ years, before starting school and every 1 to 2 years thereafter.
Treatment for hyperopia
For clear vision, you may need:
- Contact lenses
- Vision correction surgery like LASIK
With farsightedness, your treatment is a positive number, such as +3.00. The higher the number, the stronger the lenses.
Talk to your ophthalmologist about your options, how well they work, and what it involves.
Hyperopia can be connected with some problems, such as:
- Crossed eyes. Some children with farsightedness can develop crossed eyes. Specially designed glasses that correct part or all of the hyperopia can treat this problem.
- Reduced quality of life. With uncorrected hyperopia, you may not be able to perform a task as well as you want. And your limited vision can detract from your value.
Visual fatigue: Uncorrected farsightedness can cause you to squint or strain your eyes to stay in focus. This can lead to eyestrain and headaches.
Impaired security: Your own safety and the safety of others may be compromised if you have an uncorrected vision problem. This could be especially serious if you are driving a car or operating heavy equipment.
Financial burden: The cost of corrective lenses, eye exams, and medical treatments can go up, especially with a chronic condition like farsightedness.
Taking good care of your eyes can help prevent the appearance of such vision defects. A diet rich in vitamin A and C should be consumed. Similarly, exposure of the eyes to UV rays should be avoided. Drink the right amount of water to prevent dry eyes. Get regular eye checkups.
Farsightedness, in the initial stages, does not cause much visual disturbance. However, when left untreated for a long time, it can slowly progress to loss of vision. Children with a family history of vision problems should have regular eye exams to avoid serious vision problems in the future.