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What is Hyperopia or Far-sightness?

illustrationHyperopia or farsighted is a condition in which the eyes must focus to see at a distance. The image falls behind the eye. The hyperopic eye can see clearly at distance or near if he/she has adequate focusing ability. The focusing ability decreases from age 20 to 60. Thus, a patient with hyperopia will first need reading glasses and eventually bifocals or progressive glasses.

If I See All Right Why Do I Need Glasses?

The guy upstairs realized that when ever we look at near the eyes must do two things; focus (accommodate to make the object clear) and converge (align or aim our eyes at the target we are looking at). Therefore, he linked the systems together. Accommodation automatically results in convergence. This normally works correctly. At distance the perfect eye does not focus nor convergence, but at near both accommodation and convergence are used. Mild amounts of hyperopia are easily overcome by the focusing mechanism of the eye. However, if the amount of hyperopia is significant two things will happen; first the eyes will use excessive effort to keep the images clear at distance and the excessive accommodation will cause the eyes to over-converge. This over-convergence may result in muscle fatigue or double vision.

Even though hyperopia does not always cause blurred vision it may cause eye strain or an eye turn. During reading or computer usage the condition is even more significant. Hyperopia is correlated with ocular fatigue and learning disorders. Thus, glasses are often prescribed to take a load off the eyes.

What Can I Expect with Moderate Hyperopia?

Patients with mild or moderate hyperopia will need glasses up close earlier than their emmetropic counterparts. They usually land up needing bifocals and are unhappy campers. These are patients who prided themselves on having 20/20 vision until their late thirties or forties. All of a sudden they can't see at near and then they can't see at distance. They loose at both distances. The optics of their glasses have more distortion than their myopic counterparts and they have more trouble with glasses and trouble seeing contact lenses to put them in their eyes. Fortunately, LASIK refractive surgery has come a long way in making them happy campers again.

Patients with hyperopia can also wear glasses or contact lenses.