Farsightedness

1 What is Farsightedness?

Farsightedness or hyperopia is a condition in which a person can see distant objects clearly, although nearby objects may appear blurry.

This usually affects one's ability to focus on objects. In severe cases, people with farsightedness are only able to clearly see objects at a far distance.

Farsightedness is usually present at birth and usually runs in families.

Using eyeglasses or contact lenses and having surgery can help to correct this condition.

2 Symptoms

Farsightedness symptoms include:

  • Seeing nearby objects as blurry
  • Sqinting inorder to see objects clearly
  • Having eyestrain, burningeyes or itching around the eyes
  • Experiencing general eye discomfort or headache after reading, writing or using the computer for a long period of time

3 Causes

Farsightedness is caused when the cornea is curved too little or the eyeball is shorter than normal.

The eye has two parts that focus images, the cornea at the surface of the eye and the lens, a clear structure inside the eye that changes its shape to help focus on objects.

Under normal conditions, light entering the eye is focused directly on the retina, at the back of the eye.

This causes the light to be focused behind the retina ,causing a blurry appearance of nearby objects.

4 Making a Diagnosis

A basic eye test is used for the diagnosis of farsightedness.

Several eye tests are carried out that allow doctors to examine the different aspects of the eye, especially the vision.

5 Treatment

Farsightedness can be treated by using corrective lenses or refractive surgery. Wearing corrective lenses counteracts the decreased curvature of the cornea or the smaller size of the eyeball.

Types of corrective lenses include:

  • Eyeglasses-bifocals, trifocals, progressive lenses and reading lenses
  • Contact lenses- hard ,soft, extended wear, disposible, rigid gas permeable and bifocal

Age-related trouble with vision can be corrected by monovision contact lenses . These contact lenses can be worm intermittently as desired. Another optionis using modified monovison cantact lenses. This type of lens is usually worn in the nondominant eye and a contact lens is worn in the dominant eye. This helps a person to use one eye for seeing nearby objects while both eyes can see distant objects.

Another treatment option for farsightedness is refractive surgery. This involves reshaping the curvature of the cornea.

Methods of refractive surgery include:

  • Laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis (LASIK), in which a thin, circular hinged flap cut is made into the cornea. Then using an excimer laser, the surgeon removes layers from the center of the cornea to steepen its domed shape. After this the thin flap of the cornea is repositioned.
  • Laser-assisted subepithelial keratectomy, in which a surgeon creats a flap involving only the cornea's epithelium. An excimer laser is then used to reshape the cornea's outer layers and steepen its curvature and later the epithelium is repositioned.
  • Photorefractive keratectomy: this procedure is similar to LASEK, except that only the epithelium is removed.
  • Conductive keratoplasty (CK), a procedure that uses radiofrequency energy to apply heat to tiny spots around the cornea.

Some possible complications of surgery include:

  • Dry eyes
  • Infection
  • Undercorrection or overcorrection of the initial problem
  • Visual side effects like seeing halos or starburst
  • Sometimes loss of vision

6 Prevention

Protecting the eyes can help prevent the development of farsightedness.

Taking the following measures can help:

  • Having regular eye tests
  • Controlling chronic conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure
  • Protecting the eyes from the sun by waering sunglasses that block ultraviolet radiation
  • Eating healthy food
  • Using good lighting and the right glasses
  • Avoiding smoking

7 Risks and Complications

Possible complications of farsightedness include:

  • Crossed eyes
  • Reduced quality of life such as learning problems in children
  • Eyestrain and headaches
  • Impaired safety when driving or operating mechanical equipment if it is not corrected
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