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Farsightedness Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Hyperopia is a common visual defect that blurs near vision. It is not an illness. This defect is part of refractive disorders, such as astigmatism or myopia.
The eye of a hypermetropic person is sometimes called “too small” or “too short”, although it is not always the size of the eye that is questioned. This vision disorder may be due to the shape of the cornea, the latter may be too little curved and too flat.

Whatever the responsible factor, the image of an object in a hyperopic person is formed behind the retina, whereas it should be on the retina. The image forming in front of the retina in case of myopia, we can consider that hyperopia is the opposite of myopia.

To clearly distinguish this object, the hyperopic eye must accommodate or “focus” to bring the image back to the center of the retina. Thanks to this effort, the eye can get a clear image. If the hyperopia is strong or if the affected person suffers from accommodation concerns, particularly related to age, the observed object will remain unclear.

Note: a large majority of babies suffer from farsightedness at birth but this defect disappears rapidly with the growth of the eye and its lengthening. They generally have no problem of vision because they compensate through a good accommodation.

 

Prevalence

More than one in ten people would suffer from farsightedness in europ.

Diagnostic of farsightedness

The diagnosis is made by an ophthalmologist or optometrist through a simple eye exam and a series of vision tests. For example, it may be an eye movement test, a refraction test, or a retinal examination.

Causes of farsightedness

The hyperopia may be due to a cornea ( first transparent layer of the eyeball) too flat. The eye itself may also be too small.

Symptoms of farsightedness

The main symptoms of hyperopia are:

  • Blurred vision of nearby objects and difficulties in reading
  • Need to squint to see these objects properly
  • Fatigue and eye pain
  • Burns in the eyes
  • Headaches while reading or working on the computer
  • Strabismus in some children

People at risk for farsightedness

Since farsightedness may have a genetic origin, the risk of becoming hyperopic is higher when one has a family member who suffers from this visual defect.

Prevention

We cannot prevent the onset of hyperopia.
On the other hand, it is possible to take care of one’s eyes and vision, for example, by wearing sunglasses adapted to protect one’s eyes from UV rays, and glasses or lenses adapted to one’s eyesight. It is also recommended to consult regularly with an ophthalmologist or optometrist. It is important to consult a specialist as soon as a disturbing sign, such as a sudden loss of vision, black spots in front of the eyes or pain, appears.

It is also essential for her eyes to do what she can to better control chronic diseases such as diabetes. A healthy and balanced diet is also important to maintain a good view. Finally, it must be known that cigarette smoke is also extremely harmful to the eyes.

Medical treatments for hyperopia

The treatment of farsightedness may involve the wearing of glasses or contact lenses adapted to the sight. There are also surgical operations that correct the defects of the eye and make the view better.

In younger patients, or without symptoms, correction of hyperopia is not always necessary. The eye may be able to correct the disorder itself by accommodating or “tuning” effectively.

But when the vision is disturbed and the eye can no longer compensate for the effects of farsightedness, treatment becomes necessary to improve near vision.

The lenses or the corrective lenses worn in case of hyperopia compensate for the bad curvature of the cornea of ​​the eye responsible for the appearance of this visual defect.
The lenses that will be in this case “convergent”, exist in many forms: flexible, disposable, monthly, bifocal, etc … Whatever the chosen model, it must be perfectly adapted to the person who wears them. It is the ophthalmologist who will prescribe lenses or lenses adapted to correct vision.

In Quebec, the optometrist is also authorized, and in France, the optician can renew the optical equipment after a visual examination with a prescription valid for 3 years, under certain conditions.

The  refractive surgery  allows it also to correct hyperopia, by changing the shape of the cornea, usually by laser. The image can once again form on the retina, not behind it. This surgical operation is fast: the eyesight is immediately improved, but an eye discomfort can sometimes persist a few days after the operation.

The most used technique is LASIK  ( laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis ). LASIK creates a curvature on the cornea using a laser beam.
Another technique is LASEK  ( laser-assisted subepithelial keratomileusis ), during which the surgeon takes off the epithelium (layers of cells) on the surface of the cornea.
The PRK technique , also called “photorefractive keratectomy” or “surface excimer laser”, modifies the curvature of the cornea by removing tiny fragments using a laser, after having “brushed” the very thin outer layer of the cornea, the epithelium. The epithelium restores naturally after the operation.

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