What is Hyperopia?
Hyperopia is the medical term for what people generally know as farsightedness.
To understand this condition, we have to understand the parts of the eye that help with focusing on objects: the cornea and the lens. The cornea is the curved front part of the eye, while the lens is the clear structure behind the cornea. In a normal eye, these two parts bend (or refract) light because they are perfectly curved and smooth. By doing this, you will “see” a sharp and focused image.
If the cornea is not curved the right way, or if the eye is shorter than normal, then you can develop hyperopia. The cause for this condition may be physiologic (biological, like an inherited eye disorder) or pathologic (like a congenital disorder or a systemic one brought about by a disease).
This condition is common in both children and adults. Farsightedness causes and treatment vary and depend on several factors like how far the condition has worsened, your age, and how much strain you put on your eyes.
People who develop hyperopia may experience the following symptoms:
- Blurred vision – The term “farsightedness” is actually considered a misnomer. Although the majority of patients complain about being unable to clearly see objects that are near their eyes, hyperopia can also make things that are far away appear blurry.
- Asthenopia – Also called eye strain. This symptom manifests as double vision, an aching or burning sensation in or around the eye, a red or teary eye, and headaches.
- Accommodative dysfunction – Affects mostly children and young adults. The eyes need to adjust to focus properly on an image. Without this ability, people will not be able to read or perform daily visual tasks.
- Binocular dysfunction – Even though you have two eyes, these are perfectly synchronized so you only see one object. If the eyes are not aligned properly then they will transmit to the brain two different images or images that are in different positions. This dysfunction leads to people literally seeing double.
- Amblyopia – Also known as “lazy eye.” This symptom usually affects only one eye but some people can develop it on both eyes. The affected eye does not work properly or is not aligned with the other eye.
- Strabismus – A condition where one or both eyes are misaligned. The affected eye may align inward (cross-eyed), outward (wall-eyed), upward (hypertropia), or downward (hypotropia).
The symptoms generally manifest after carrying out visual tasks for a long period like reading, writing, or computer work. Since these symptoms can occur in other eye problems, only an eye examination can detect this disorder.