Dealing with Farsightedness

Farsightedness or Hyperopia is one of the most common eye impairment of the visual acuity afflicting about 25% of the population. As the name suggests, it is a condition where you see far or distant objects clearly, but not objects up close which get blurred. It is not a disease but an optical system aberration in the human eye.


Normal vision happens when the image you see is focused at the retinal plane. Farsightedness results when the focus goes beyond so that the image that registers on the retinal plane is not focused and, therefore, blurred. This is due to the eyeball having a shorter distance between the cornea and the retina, often occurring with a shorter or slightly oblongated eyeball on the vertical axis.  A flattened cornea or a lens that is situated farther back behind the cornea can also cause hperopia.  

Farsightedness is generally associated with aging and you often see older folks requiring spectacles or eyeglasses to read, sew or do anything up close. But there is more evidence to suggest that genetics predispose a person to develop the condition.  In most cases, infants are born with the condition but develop normal vision in the next few ears.  Otherwise, you see children with eyeglasses as early as grade school to help them read and perform schoolwork up close.  If you have older family members with hyperopia, chances are high you will develop one as you grow old.

The condition can also be triggered by illnesses or other medical conditions. People with sinus infections and migraines can also experience farsightedness. Having glaucoma or lazy eye also increases your risk to hyperopia.


Blurred vision on objects up close like text on a written page or photos is the hallmark symptom of the condition. But it is not uncommon for farsighted people just starting to feel the onset of the condition to suffer eye strain, fatigued and aching eyes, headaches, and squinting when reading a page, a PC monitor or doing any work at close range.  Even if you already wear the correct prescription glasses, if you suffer these symptoms, this is a sign you need to get new prescription glasses.

Parents generally do not suspect hyperopia on a healthy child early on, and children who have the condition since birth will not complain since they have never seen a focused object up close. If you see your child preferring to sit close to a TV, squinting to look at pictures and words in a storybook or the details of their toys, you can suspect farsightedness.  Children with the condition also perform poorly in school work and often require being seated up from to see what is on the blackboard.


Farsightedness can easily be diagnosed when taking the vision tests in your regular medical check-up or a visit to the local optometrist.  The near test in its visual acuity testing will require you to read a paragraph of varying text sizes 14 inches from your face and farsighted people will almost always fail the test. The refraction test where your refractive ability is gauged in a retinoscope or autorefractor will further confirm the diagnosis and a phoropter can then be used to determine the precise dioptric grade that will allow you to have clear vision.

Whether or not you suspect our child to have the condition, the child should undergo an eye check as regularly as possible, especially prior to grade school to prevent future academic problems with the child.

Treating Farsightedness

As a refraction problem, minor cases of farsightedness can be left on its own, but more severe cases are commonly corrected with the use of prescriptive eyeglasses or contact lenses. The lenses have convex curvature that refocuses the way light reached the retina.  You can visit a local eye clinic and an optometrist can perform the required eye examination with a series of vision test to determine the proper dioptric value for the eyeglass or contacts you need.  Positive values, typically ranging from +2 to 50, indicate farsightedness and the optometrist can prescribed the right eyeglasses or contact lens.

Unlike myopia or nearsightedness when it is recommended that glasses be worn at all times especially on the road,  farsighted people usually just need their glasses when reading, sewing, working on a PC or doing any work up close.

A more lasting solution to farsightedness is refractive surgery. A preferred option for people who prefer not to bother with ceremonious contact lenses and eyeglasses, the solution often employs of excimer laser technologies. The more common surgical procedure is LASIK (Laser Assisted in situ Keratomileusis) performed by an ophthalmologist and is an outpatient procedure requiring only anesthesia on fully conscious patient.  It involves corneal implants to correct the focusing distance to the retina.