Farsightedness is an eye defect which makes it difficult for the person to see things at a short distance though they may be able to see things at a long distance. It is also known as Hyperopia, hypermetropia and even long-sightedness in medical terms. In Farsightedness, the image becomes blurred when an object moves towards the eye as the power of the cornea and lens is not sufficient to focus on the nearby object. Farsightedness occurs if the cornea is too flat or if the eye is too short.

Farsightedness can be found in both adults and children though it is more prominent among people above 55 years of age. In most cases, the children outgrow the condition. The eye defect is generally genetic and is present at birth. Those who have a family member affected with farsightedness are more at the risk of getting the eye problem.

Farsightedness is divided into three categories depending on its severity and clinical appearance - Simple Farsightedness, Pathological Farsightedness and Functional Farsightedness.

Causes of Farsightedness:

In a normal eye, cornea and lens, which have a smooth curvature, refract the incoming light to make a focused image on the retina. If the incoming light is not refracted properly due to any reason, the person is suffering from a Refractive error. Farsightedness is one of the Refractive errors. The other Refractive errors are Myopia or Nearsightedness and Astigmatism.

If the cornea is too flat or the eye is too short, the incoming light does not focus on the retina but behind it, leading to blurring of vision of nearby objects.

Symptoms of Farsightedness:

Some of the symptoms of Farsightedness are:

  • The vision may appear blurred if a person affected from Farsightedness focuses on nearby objects.
  • The person affected from Farsightedness may suffer from headache or eye discomfort if he has been writing, doing computer work, reading or drawing – the activities that need eye to focus on nearby objects – for a long period of time.
  • The person affected from Farsightedness may suffer from burning sensation in the eyes, eyestrain and pain in or around the eyes.

Complications of Farsightedness:

  • Farsightedness may lead to crossed eyes among children. Crossed Eyes can be treated by wearing specially designed eyeglasses that correct the eye defect.
  • If the Farsightedness is not corrected, the quality of life of the person may be affected as he will face difficulty in performing day-to-day activities. It may also lead to learning problems among children.
  • Farsightedness may lead to frequent headaches and eyestrain especially after studying, writing, reading or doing computer work.
  • Farsightedness, if left uncorrected, may put the person affected by the defect and others’ lives at risk.

Diagnosis for Farsightedness:

Eye movement testing, refraction test, Visual acuity, Glaucoma testing, retinal examination and Slit-lamp Examination are some of the tests which are used to diagnose Farsightedness.

Treatment of Farsightedness:

If the Farsightedness is lesser in degree, it can be left untreated. However if the degree of Farsightedness is severe, the person affected with the condition should get his eyes tested by an eye doctor who may correct the condition with convex lenses either in contact lenses or eyeglasses. Farsightedness can also be corrected with the help of refractive surgery procedures like PRK and LASIK.

In PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy), the cornea is flattened with the help of laser, enabling the light rays to focus on the retina. The most popular surgery used to correct Farsightedness is LASIK (Laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis) in which a laser removes some corneal tissues by cutting a flap, which is later put in its place. The surgery may reduce or eliminate the need to wear eyeglasses or contact lenses. Corneal inlays and onlays may also be used to correct the condition.

Regular eye checks for both adults and children are necessary to detect the condition.
Farsightedness can be treated if the diagnosis and treatment is undertaken at the right time.