What Causes Farsightedness and What Are My Options to Fix It?
Farsightedness, or hyperopia, affects between five and ten percent of Americans according to the National Eye Institute. Hyperopia is a refractive error that affects the eye’s ability to focus on nearby objects. If you find it easier to focus on faraway objects than things that are close to you, you may suffer from farsightedness.
It’s useful to understand how the eye works to make sense of hyperopia. The cornea and lens are the two parts of your eye responsible for focusing. Your cornea is your eye’s transparent surface, and your lens is a complex structure inside your eye which changes formation when you focus your vision. Together, your cornea and lens refract or bend incoming light and focus it onto your retina, which then sends the visual information to your optic nerve and onto your brain.
Depending on the curvature of the cornea and shape of the eye itself, your eyes may struggle to focus on objects correctly, often causing farsightedness.
Because there are varying severities of farsightedness, it’s essential to visit an optometrist to find out how to treat this problem.
Causes and Symptoms of Farsightedness
Farsightedness is often caused by a flat cornea, though the condition can also arise in those that have a shorter-than-normal eyeball. These issues cause light to focus behind your retina rather on the retina itself.
Hyperopia can affect children and adults alike. However, because young people’s eye lenses are more flexible than adult lenses, children can often compensate for farsightedness without requiring treatment. If you think your child is farsighted, you should still visit an optometrist because complications, such as the development of a lazy eye, can arise.
Symptoms of hyperopia include:
- Nearby objects or words appearing blurry
- Squinting when focusing
- Headaches after reading
- Burning or aching sensations around the eyes
How to Treat Farsightedness
Treatments for hyperopia include glasses, contact lenses and laser eye surgery, the former two options being the most popular because they come with fewer risks. Complications from surgery can include infections, dry eyes, over or under-corrected vision, and halos appearing around lights. Therefore, we recommend visiting an optometrist to find out which treatment is right for you.
Prescription glasses and contact lenses are the most straightforward ways to treat farsightedness. These lenses alter the way light enters your eyes to help correct your focus. An optometrist can use a range of techniques to diagnose the severity of your hyperopia to prescribe the most suitable solution for you.
First, your local optometrist will use an eye chart to test your ability to focus on letters at different distances. This will then be followed by a dilated exam. The dilated eye exam involves putting eye drops to make the pupils dilate so that the optometrist can view the back of your eye. Finally, your optometrist may test your vision using a variety of lenses to see which work best.
Contact lenses and eyeglasses are both perfectly safe, and most people adapt to wearing them quickly. At Miami Contact Lens Institute, we can perform a variety of tests to prescribe the most suitable corrective lenses to treat farsightedness in both children and adults. If you think you may suffer from hyperopia and want to correct your vision, prevent complications, and relieve symptoms, contact us to book an appointment.