Medical name (Hyperopia)
Vision impairment for near objects
Farsightedness or hyperopia is a vision condition in which the patient can see distant objects clearly but cannot focus properly to close ones. The patient perceives objects that are closer as blurry. Hyperopia occurs when the cornea has too little curvature or the eyeball is too short, making it hard for the eye to focus the light correctly which penetrates it.
Inside of the eye is the retina, in which optical perception takes place. In order for observed objects to be imaged correctly on the retina, the light that enters the eye needs to be refracted exactly on the surface of the retina. This refraction is achieved with help from the lens, which controls how much the light from an object is refracted depending on its distance. If this refraction is too weak or if the eyeball is too short, objects nearby may not be perceived clearly.
Occurrence and Symptoms
Farsightedness is relatively common and usually happens in the context of presbyopia, which becomes more common with age. Patients notice that the closer an observed object is to the eye, the blurrier it seems to be. One of the causes of farsightedness is a flat cornea. Further causes can be a short eyeball which is shorter than normal, that can cause the light to concentrate behind the eye's retina rather than on it. Family history is also among the causes of farsightedness. The condition develops often in adults as the lenses of the eyes age. It is difficult for people with farsightedness to see anything up close. They have to work hard in order to see close things and this causes strain in the eyes. This extra strain causes some symptoms of farsightedness. The symptoms include blurry vision up close, fatigue, tension, squinting in order to see better, a burning or aching sensation around the eyes, and a headache after tasks such as reading that require to concentrate on something up close. When the condition has not been corrected and diagnosed properly in children, some of them may develop strabismus or crossed eyes.
Consequences and Treatment
The eyes of young people can compensate for farsightedness since their lenses are still flexible. This is hard for aging eyes that require glasses for close-up tasks including sewing or reading. The condition can be corrected in the simplest way by getting prescription contact lenses or eyeglasses with converging lenses (“plus” lenses). Such lenses or eyeglasses are corrective as they change the way light enters the eyes and compensating the insufficient refractive power of the lens, helping the patient to concentrate better. Another way to treat farsightedness is refractive surgery that may cause some severe complications.
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