Farsightedness

The eye has several parts, of which, retina, cornea, and lens are of prime importance that helps in vision. The eye resembles a camera in function. Just as the lens of a camera focuses light on a film to generate an image, the cornea and lens focus light on the retina to produce an image. This is how we visualise things around us. What happens if there is a problem in the evenness of the cornea or lens? It leads to the improper focusing of light; the light falls behind the retina, instead of falling on it. This error is called farsightedness.

Farsightedness, also called as hyperopia is a vision problem; wherein you can see distant objects clearly, but those appear nearby may be blurred. Tasks like reading a newspaper or sewing may be difficult to perform. You can correct this condition by using farsighted contact lenses or eyeglasses, or even surgery.

Symptoms

  • Nearby objects appear blurry
  • You need to squint to see the objects clearly
  • Eyestrain, painful and burning of eyes
  • A headache or discomfort in the eyes when you read, write or work on the computer

Causes

Farsightedness mainly occurs when your cornea is curved too little or if your eye is shorter than the normal. Instead of light focusing on the retina, it focuses behind the retina resulting in the blurry appearance of close-up objects.

Other causes if farsightedness include:

  • Abnormal shape of the cornea
  • Abnormal location of the lens
  • Rarely, tumors of the eye and retinopathy-disease of the retina

Many children are born with farsightedness. Moreover, farsightedness tends to be hereditary.

Does it worsen over time?

Though it begins in childhood, with normal growth and development of the child, the problem is rectified. But, after the cessation of development of the eye, if the child is still farsighted, he or she may be given glasses or contact lenses to wear.

Prevention

You can’t prevent farsightedness, but you can protect your eyes and vision by following these tips:

  • Have your eyes checked regularly
  • Know the symptoms and seek immediate care
  • Protect your eyes from UV light by wearing sunglasses
  • Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables to keep your retina healthy
  • Use proper lighting that helps you see better
 

Diagnosis

Your doctor performs a complete eye examination that includes series of tests along with a slit-lamp test to check if you have farsightedness.

Things to do before seeing an eye specialist

  • Carry the contact lenses box, if you wear them.
  • Make sure you carry your old glasses, if you have one.
  • Share the experiences which bother you when you use your eye.

How is farsightedness treated?

Generally, farsightedness does not require treatment, especially if you are young because the lenses are so flexible that they can adjust accordingly. As the person ages, the flexibility is lost. So, one need wearing corrective lenses such as eye glasses and contact lenses.

Surgical treatment

Surgery for farsightedness may be required in some cases, which works by correcting the curvature of the cornea, thereby improving refractivity of the light.

Examples of surgeries are:

  • Laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis (LASIK)
  • Laser-assisted subepithelial keratectomy (LASEK)
  • Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK)
  • Conductive keratoplasty (CK)

Post-procedural complications

  • Dry eyes
  • Blindness
  • Risk of infections