04 May, 2023
Hyperopia, also known as long-sightedness, is a common refractive error that affects many people. It occurs when the eye’s natural lens and cornea cannot focus incoming light properly onto the retina, causing blurred vision when looking at close objects, while distant objects generally appear clearer. It is one of the most common eye conditions an optometrist will diagnose.
To understand how hyperopia affects our vision, we need to know how light rays interact with the eye. When light enters the eye, it passes through the cornea and lens before reaching the retina, where it is transformed into electrical signals that the brain can interpret as images.
In a normal eye, the cornea and lens bend (or refract) incoming light to focus it precisely onto the retina, allowing us to see objects clearly at different distances. However, in hyperopia, the eye is too short, or the cornea and lens are too flat, so light rays converge behind the retina instead of on it. As a result of refractive errors, nearby objects appear blurry, while distant objects may appear clearer.
Hyperopia is a common refractive error that affects many people, particularly young people. This condition occurs when the eyeball is too short, or the cornea is not curved enough, causing light to focus behind the retina instead of on it.
The following are some common causes of hyperopia:
Hyperopia is often more common in young people, particularly children because their eyes are still developing.
Like many other eye conditions, hyperopia can be inherited. If one or both parents have hyperopia, their children are more likely to develop the condition.
Hyperopia can also occur when the shape of the cornea is too flat, or the eye is too small. This can cause light to focus behind the retina instead of on it, leading to blurred vision.
The lens inside the eye also plays a crucial role in focusing light onto the retina. In hyperopia, the lens may not be strong enough to focus the light properly. This can happen due to age-related changes or other factors that affect the lens’s shape and flexibility.
Long-sighted people experience blurry vision when looking at close objects and when trying to focus on close tasks, such as when reading or writing. This can cause eyestrain, headaches, and difficulty focusing on the task at hand. However, young people with mild hyperopia may not experience any symptoms until they reach a more advanced age.
In some cases, hyperopia can also affect depth perception, making it harder to judge distances accurately. Children with hyperopia may develop a “lazy eye” if the condition is not corrected early, leading to permanent vision problems. It’s essential to have regular eye exams with an optometrist to diagnose and treat hyperopia early.
Hyperopia is typically diagnosed during a comprehensive eye exam by an optometrist. The exam may include a visual acuity test to measure how well the patient can see at different distances and a refraction test to determine the exact degree of hyperopia.
Fortunately, hyperopia can be easily corrected with glasses and contact lenses.
To see distant objects clearly, individuals with hyperopia may need to wear prescription lenses that can help focus light properly onto the retina. By wearing glasses, hyperopia symptoms such as blurry vision can be improved.
Glasses can be prescribed by an eye doctor – called an optometrist, who will perform an eye exam to determine the prescription strength needed to achieve good vision. Wearing glasses can make a big difference for individuals with hyperopia, allowing them to see clearly and avoid eye strain or headaches.
Contact lenses are a popular treatment option for people with hyperopia or long-sightedness. Contact lenses similar to glasses allow the eye to focus light directly onto the retina. By doing so, people with hyperopia can see clearly and perform close tasks without straining their eyes.
Using contact lenses as a treatment option for hyperopia provides several benefits. Contact lenses offer a wider field of vision than glasses, which is especially useful for people who play sports or have an active lifestyle. They are also less likely to fog, and users can enjoy clear vision without worrying about glasses slipping off their face.
Another key difference between glasses and contact lenses is that glasses are ‘non-disposable’, while contact lenses require regular replacement. Glasses can last for years with proper care and maintenance, while contact lenses must be replaced regularly to maintain their effectiveness and to prevent eye infections.
Laser procedures can correct long-sightedness by reshaping the cornea, allowing light rays to focus correctly onto the retina. By doing so, people with significant long-sightedness can enjoy clear, far and near vision without needing glasses or contact lenses.
During laser surgery, a surgeon will use a laser to reshape the long-sighted eyes’ cornea, making it more able to focus light rays. The procedure is quick and relatively painless and can help patients see objects close up without needing glasses or contact lenses while also enjoying normal vision for distance tasks.
While there is a risk of complications associated with laser surgery, such as infection or dry eye, most people experience significant improvements in their vision and enjoy clear vision without needing corrective lenses. However, it is important to remember that eyes continue to change over time which may cause the vision to deteriorate requiring further treatment, whether it be glasses, contact lenses or further surgery. Older patients may still require glasses or contact lenses to see small print.
It is essential to have regular eye exams to detect and manage hyperopia and other eye conditions. If you are experiencing symptoms of hyperopia or have not had an eye exam in a while, contact the nearest EyeQ practice for a comprehensive eye check-up. Our experienced eye care professionals can provide the advice and treatment you need to manage hyperopia and maintain healthy vision.
Don’t wait until your symptoms worsen; schedule an appointment with EyeQ today and take the first step towards better eye health!
Our contact lens provider Alcon is experiencing delays fulfilling orders due to a cyber-security incident involving their freight partner, Toll Group. These delays are across their entire network of optical retailers in Australia. We apologise for an inconvenience caused and encourage you to contact your local EyeQ practice for any urgent requirements.