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Farsightedness

Hyperopia

 

Farsightedness is having a harder time seeing object that are close than things that are far away.

Causes

 

Farsightedness is the result of the visual image being focused behind the retina rather than directly on it. It may be caused by the eyeball being too small or the focusing power being too weak.

Farsightedness is often present from birth. However, children have a very flexible eye lens, which helps make up for the problem. As aging occurs, glasses or contact lenses may be needed to correct the vision. If you have family members who are farsighted, you are also more likely to become farsighted.

 

Symptoms

 

Symptoms include:

  • Aching eyes
  • Blurred vision when looking at close objects
  • Crossed eyes (strabismus) in some children
  • Eye strain
  • Headache while reading

Mild farsightedness may not cause any problems. However, you may need reading glasses.

 

Exams and Tests

 

A general eye exam to diagnose farsightedness may include the following tests:

  • Eye movement testing
  • Glaucoma testing
  • Refraction test
  • Retinal examination
  • Slit-lamp examination
  • Visual acuity

This list is not all-inclusive.

 

Treatment

 

Farsightedness is easily corrected with glasses or contact lenses. Surgery is available for correcting farsightedness in adults. This is an option for those who do not wish to wear glasses or contacts.

 

Outlook (Prognosis)

 

The outcome is expected to be good.

 

Possible Complications

 

Farsightedness can be a risk factor for glaucoma and crossed eyes.

 

When to Contact a Medical Professional

 

Call your health care provider or eye doctor if you have symptoms of farsightedness and you have not had a recent eye exam.

Also, call if vision begins to get worse after you have been diagnosed with farsightedness.

See a provider right away if you think you have farsightedness and you suddenly develop the following symptoms:

  • Severe eye pain
  • Eye redness
  • Decreased vision

 

 

References

Miller D, Schol P, Magnante P. Optics of the normal eye. In: Yanoff M, Duker JS, eds. Ophthalmology. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2014:chap 2.5.

Yanoff M, Cameron JD. Diseases of the visual system. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 423.

 
  • Visual acuity test

    Visual acuity test - illustration

    Visual acuity tests may be performed in many different ways. It is a quick way to detect vision problems and is frequently used in schools or for mass screening. Driver license bureaus often use a small device that can test the eyes both together and individually.

    Visual acuity test

    illustration

  • Normal, nearsightedness, and farsightedness

    Normal, nearsightedness, and farsightedness - illustration

    Normal vision occurs when light is focused directly on the retina rather than in front or behind it. A person with normal vision can see objects clearly near and faraway. Nearsightedness results in blurred vision when the visual image is focused in front of the retina, rather than directly on it. It occurs when the physical length of the eye is greater than the optical length. For this reason, nearsightedness often develops in the rapidly growing school-aged child or teenager, and progresses during the growth years, requiring frequent changes in glasses or contact lenses. A nearsighted person sees near objects clearly, while objects in the distance are blurred. Farsightedness is the result of the visual image being focused behind the retina rather than directly on it. It may be caused by the eyeball being too small or the focusing power being too weak. Farsightedness is often present from birth, but children can often tolerate moderate amounts without difficulty and most outgrow the condition. A farsighted person sees faraway objects clearly, while objects that are near are blurred.

    Normal, nearsightedness, and farsightedness

    illustration

  • Normal vision

    Normal vision - illustration

    Normal vision occurs when light is focused directly on the retina rather than in front or behind it.

    Normal vision

    illustration

  • Lasik eye surgery - series

    Lasik eye surgery - series

    Presentation

    • Visual acuity test

      Visual acuity test - illustration

      Visual acuity tests may be performed in many different ways. It is a quick way to detect vision problems and is frequently used in schools or for mass screening. Driver license bureaus often use a small device that can test the eyes both together and individually.

      Visual acuity test

      illustration

    • Normal, nearsightedness, and farsightedness

      Normal, nearsightedness, and farsightedness - illustration

      Normal vision occurs when light is focused directly on the retina rather than in front or behind it. A person with normal vision can see objects clearly near and faraway. Nearsightedness results in blurred vision when the visual image is focused in front of the retina, rather than directly on it. It occurs when the physical length of the eye is greater than the optical length. For this reason, nearsightedness often develops in the rapidly growing school-aged child or teenager, and progresses during the growth years, requiring frequent changes in glasses or contact lenses. A nearsighted person sees near objects clearly, while objects in the distance are blurred. Farsightedness is the result of the visual image being focused behind the retina rather than directly on it. It may be caused by the eyeball being too small or the focusing power being too weak. Farsightedness is often present from birth, but children can often tolerate moderate amounts without difficulty and most outgrow the condition. A farsighted person sees faraway objects clearly, while objects that are near are blurred.

      Normal, nearsightedness, and farsightedness

      illustration

    • Normal vision

      Normal vision - illustration

      Normal vision occurs when light is focused directly on the retina rather than in front or behind it.

      Normal vision

      illustration

    • Lasik eye surgery - series

      Presentation

    Talking to your MD

     

      Tests for Farsightedness

       

         

        Review Date: 7/22/2016

        Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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