Hyperopia or Farsightedness: Causes, Symptoms, Complications, and Treatment
Wed, April 21, 2021

Hyperopia or Farsightedness: Causes, Symptoms, Complications, and Treatment


Hyperopia or farsightedness is a common vision problem in which you can see objects far away from you clearly, but you struggle to see objects closer to you, explained Mayo Clinic, an American not-for-profit organization. If you have severe hyperopia, you may clearly see objects much farther. If you have mild farsightedness, you may be able to see objects that are much closer.

Hyperopia is present at birth and is hereditary. Children with mild to moderate hyperopia can see objects up close and afar without correction, as the muscles and lenses in the eyes can squint well, helping them overcome their farsightedness, stated WebMD, a website on health and medicine. But it gets harder to squint as you age, which makes it hard for you to focus on things that are far from you. It is possible to correct this condition by wearing glasses or contact lenses, though surgery may be necessary.   

Two Studies Detail Refractive Errors In Patients

Shiferaw Alemu D and colleagues of Dove Press, an open access scientific and medical journal portal, reviewed 1,921 patient records presented to the Gondar University Hospital Tertiary Eye Care and Training Center’s refraction service from January 2010 to January 2014. The overall prevalence of refractive errors was 76.3%. Myopia or hyperopia prevalence in the right and left eye was 72.7% and 72.6%, respectively. Refractive error prevalence in males and females was 60% and 40%, respectively.

Hyperopia was found in 735 right eyes, constituting 38.3% of those with refractive errors and in 729 left eyes (37.9%). On the other hand, myopia was found in 664 right eyes (34.65) and in 663 left eyes (34.5%). Low-degree hyperopia was the frequently observed type of refractive error (86%) and high-degree hyperopia was the least observed (4.5%) in right eyes. Moderate hyperopia was observed in 9.5% of right eyes. In left eyes, low-degree hyperopia (87%) was the most commonly observed refractive error, followed by moderate hyperopia (8%) and high-degree hyperopia (5%). The authors concluded that refractive error is prevalent and it is important to plan and stock lenses to address uncorrected refractive error.

Iqra Izbal and Javaria Asif Bajwa of MedCave, a online research platform, conducted a cross-sectional convenient type study at the College of Opthalmology and Allied Vision Sciences in the main OPD of the eye department, Mayo Hospital, Lahore, Pakistan in a span of three months. 100 male and female hyperopic patients were recruited for the study. Among the respondents, 41% complained of decreased vision, 13% reported blurring, 1% reported watering of eyes, 3% reported itching, 6% cited headache, and 35% reported experiencing all the aforementioned symptoms. 82% were using spectacle glasses for the last 12 months, 16% used them for the last one to three years, and 2% used them for the last four to six years.

Out of the hyperopic patients, 89% had no ocular history, 10% had a previous ocular history, and 1% were unaware of their ocular history. 70% of the patients had no family history of hyperopia, 2% had a positive family history in their fathers, 9% had a positive history of the condition in their mothers, 11% in their brothers, and 8% in their sisters. Izbal and Bajwa concluded that 11% of patients had hyperopia in both parents, suggesting a small positive correlation between maternal hyperopia and hyperopia in children, which indicates their susceptibility to heritable hyperopia.  



What Are the Causes of Hyperopia?

Your eyes focus light rays, sending the image of the object you’re looking at to your brain. The light rays don’t focus normally when you’re farsighted. The cornea— which is your eye’s clear outer— and the lens focus the image directly on the surface of the retina, the lining of the back of your eye. The image will go behind the retina if your eye is too short or the power to focus is weak. This causes the objects to appear blurry.  

What Are the Symptoms of Hyperopia?

You may have headaches or eye strain when you have hyperopia, noted Gretchyn Bailey of All About Vision, a complete guide to vision and eye care. You might also tend to squint or feel fatigued when you are seeing objects or doing tasks (ex: drawing, reading, writing, and more) at close range. If you exerpience these symptoms while wearing your glasses or contact lenses, you may need to consult a professional for an eye exam or a new prescription.



What Are the Complications Associated With Farsightedness?

It can be associated with other health complications such as crossed eyes, particularly children with farsightedness. Impaired safety can be a health complication since your safety and that of others may be jeopardized if you have an untreated vision problem. This could be an issue when you’re driving or operating heavy equipment.

How Is Hyperopia Treated?

You will need to be diagnosed first for farsightedness. A professional may conduct an eye exam to find out if you have hyperopia. This condition can be corrected with glasses or contact lenses, including vision correction surgery. Your prescription is a positive number (ex: +3.00). “The higher the number, the stronger the lenses, said WebMD.”

Choose aspheric high-index lenses—especially for stronger prescriptions— when choosing a pair of glasses. These lenses are lighter, thinner, and have a slimmer, more attractive profile, said Bailey. Aspheric lenses also help minimize “bug-eye” appearance eyeglasses for hyperopia often cause.

Note that high-index aspheric lenses reflect more light than standard plastic lenses. If you want to look good and feel comfortable, opt for lenses that include anti-reflective coating, which gets rid of distracting lens reflections. High-index aspheric lenses for kids should be made of lightweight polycarbonate lens material for comfort and impact resistance. Moreover, photochromic lenses that automatically dim in response to sunlight are strongly recommended for children and anyone who spends time outdoors.

What if contact lenses or glasses are not for me? Eye surgery may be a great alternative for you. The most common procedure LASIK. This procedure involves creating a flap above your cornea and your doctor will use a laser to sculpt tissue inside your eye. Afterwards, they will move the flap back into place. You can always ask your doctor about your options, how effective they are, and what’s involved.

Hyperopia runs in families and children can also have this condition, though they can overcome it as they get older. Eyeglasses or contact lenses may help address hyperopia. However, eye procedures such as LASIK can also address farsightedness. Feel free to consult your doctor about your options, as well as the pros and cons of each.