Farsightedness, also known as hyperopia, is a common vision condition in which a person can see distant objects clearly but has difficulty seeing things up close.
Farsightedness is usually treated with glasses or contact lenses, which can correct how light enters the eye to see more clearly. Alternatively, the following surgical treatments can also correct farsightedness:
- LASIK (laser in situ keratomileusis)
- PRK (photorefractive keratectomy)
- ICL (intracollamer lens)
- RLE (refractive lens exchange)
It’s important to note that these are corrective methods, not a cure. LASIK and PRK can permanently reshape the tissue in your eyes but can’t stop the natural aging process, where your vision can worsen over time due to other factors.
What Is Farsightedness?
Farsightedness or hyperopia is a refractive error of the eye, which means the eye does not properly focus light onto the retina. When light enters the eye, it refracts or bends to focus on the retina (the light-sensitive layer at the back of the eye) and produces a clear image.
In farsightedness, the light is focused behind the retina, creating a blurry close-up image. The eye shape causes this error—the eyeball is shorter than average, or the cornea (transparent front part of the eye) is too flat.
Farsightedness is common, can occur at any age, and may affect one or both eyes. Because the lenses in children are still flexible, their eyes can compensate for farsightedness and may only need correction if:
- The vision between both eyes shows a significant difference
- They may be developing crossed eyes or strabismus
- Vision is greatly affected
In adults, age-related farsightedness or presbyopia is the natural decrease in focusing ability. Around age 40, it becomes harder to focus because the lens tends to be less flexible.
The extra effort put in to focus and maintain clear vision can cause the following symptoms for people with farsightedness:
- Blurry vision
- Eye fatigue
- Aching or burning sensation
Symptoms alone don’t diagnose farsightedness. A comprehensive eye examination where your eye doctor uses a variety of tests can determine the cause of your vision problems and confirm a diagnosis of farsightedness.
A familiar test used to diagnose hyperopia is a visual acuity test that measures your ability to see clearly at different distances. Another test is the refraction test, which measures how light enters the eyes and can help determine the correct prescription for glasses or contact lenses.
Treatment for Farsightedness
Treatment can depend on the degree of farsightedness. Young people might not always require correction as their eyes can compensate. Other times, prescription eyeglasses and contact lenses can help with farsightedness or hyperopia.
Refractive surgeries are commonly used to treat nearsightedness and can also correct mild to moderate farsightedness by reshaping the cornea’s curvature.
Refractive surgeries include:
During a LASIK procedure, your ophthalmologist will make a thin flap into the cornea’s surface. They will fold the flap back to reveal the corneal stroma.
With the laser, they will reshape the underlying corneal stroma to correct the farsightedness by steepening the cornea.. After the procedure, the flap is folded back in place.
PRK is also a refractive surgery but is different from LASIK. In PRK, your ophthalmologist completely removes the epithelium (outer layer of the cornea) and then uses a laser on the stromal layers.
After surgery, around 3–5 days, new epithelium grows to conform to the cornea’s new shape. PRK is ideal for those with thin corneas or if there is a risk of the flap dislodging.
While LASIK and PRK are permanent procedures, Implantable Collamer Lenses (ICL) is another surgery that can be reversible to accommodate age-related refractive changes:
ICL, also called implantable contact lenses or phakic intraocular lenses (IOL), are implants placed between the iris (coloured part of the eye) and the natural lens to correct refractive errors. ICL can provide a treatment option for those with a high refractive error.
RLE, or refractive lens exchange removes the clear crystalline lens from the eye. By replacing it with an artificial lens or intraocular lens (IOL), the farsightedness can be greatly improved.
Long-Term Outlook for Farsightedness
While you can’t prevent farsightedness, there are ways to protect your vision:
- Eat healthy foods containing antioxidants, vitamin A, and beta-carotene.
- Control chronic health conditions by having regular health checkups that affect your vision, such as diabetes or high blood pressure.
- Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from UV radiation.
- Wear protective eyeglasses to prevent eye injuries when participating in activities that can be harmful.
- Ensure you have the correct eyeglasses or contact lens prescription.
- Use good lighting when reading or doing close-up work.
- Get regular eye examinations to help detect any problems early.
- Follow the treatment plans recommended by your eye doctor for any eye conditions or diseases.
- See your eye doctor immediately if you notice vision changes or if you experience pain, red eyes, or a discharge from your eyes.
Visit Us for Vision Correction
Some things can become harder to do as you age, such as focusing on close-up objects or reading in low light. If you suspect changes in your vision, schedule an appointment with Vector Eye Centre for a complete eye examination.
Our cutting-edge diagnostic and treatment techniques can help determine the best plan for successful vision correction.