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Hyperopia is a medical condition of the eye, more commonly known as far-sightedness. Generally speaking, a person who has Hyperopia has problems seeing objects that are very close to them, as the item will be blurry. Things like reading a book, writing, or knitting can be difficult or impossible. An individual who has hyperopia will still be able to focus on and see clearly objects that are far away.

Hyperopia can occur when a person’s eyeball is too short or has too much minus prescription in the eyeball, which is an inherited condition, and one that can’t be prevented. The distance between a person’s cornea and their retina will cause images that they see to go hypothetically behind the retina instead of on it. This causes light rays that are coming in and through the cornea and the lens to not be able to properly focus onto the retina’s surface. Another way of looking at this is because of the cornea’s curvature. If the curvature is shallower than normal, then the light rays will not be able to bend right so that they are directed properly towards the retina.

The symptoms of hyperopia are easy to spot. They can start in a baby, or wait until a person is in their retirement years. A person with hyperopia will not be able to see close up, and have extremely blurred vision without the aid of (eyeglasses) or another (prescription) sight aid, such as contacts or bifocals. The constant battle to be able to see close up objects, or to read or write, can cause eye strain, irritation, dry and scratchy eyes, headaches, and migraines. Squinting a majority of the time is another symptom that develops; and can cause headaches and tension in the eyes, face and head.

Many children are born with hyperopia. Sometimes the condition will get better as the child ages, and a need for corrective action is not warranted. However, many times a child will need to wear (eyeglasses) at a young age. Some children may be especially good at accommodating their vision problem, so that the problem is not as nearly noticeable to others. For this reason it is very important to get a child’s eyes checked frequently, and especially if they display any signs of not being able to see close up. Crossed eyes are one symptom to watch for, as the child is doing this in order to see close up. Crossed-eyes are known as esotropia, a form of squint or strabismus.

The treatment for hyperopia usually involves a prescription for glasses or contacts. Most patients will only wear them when they need to see close up. A long-term option is surgery, known as laser vision correction. This includes refractive surgeries such as LASIK and LASEK, two similar surgeries that uses precision lasers to correct the shape of the cornea, which results in better or perfect vision.

Farsightedness can often be inherited from parents. It is not a preventable condition. While hyperopia is a lifelong condition, the advances in medicine have made it possible to correct. Talk to your ophthalmologist to see if you need contacts or glasses, or if a vision correction surgery is the right choice for you.

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