Hyperopia correct distance vision

What is hyperopia? How Glasses Can Improve Your Distance Vision

Ever felt difficulty reading a book or focusing on a post on the phone? This could be a sign that you are farsighted, known as hyperopia.

In this blog, we have a comprehensive overview of hyperopia and its impact on distance vision:

What is hyperopia?

Hyperopia is an eye condition known as farsightedness. The refractive error in the eye affects distance vision; nearby objects appear blurred in this condition. The distant objects are clear, but the near vision falls short, and the reasons associated with this can be because of issues in the lens or the shape of the cornea.

Hyperopia is an eye condition when the eyes cannot form a proper image because the light rays do not focus correctly on the retina. Farsightedness happens when the eyeball is too short from front to back, i.e., issues arise in the cornea’s shape (the eye’s clear front layer). The eye converges behind the retina, resulting in blurred vision of nearby objects.

What Causes Hyperopia (Farsightedness)?

Hyperopia is seen in the ideal eye when light fails to converge perfectly on the retina. This is because of the short eyeball. Even in this case, when the cornea is flatter than its normal shape, it leads to inadequate refraction of light, again causing a similar issue with focus.

Lens shape can also technically cause hyperopia, with its inability to focus properly on near objects. Besides, the causes of hyperopia can be certain genetic disorders, like Down syndrome and Fragile X syndrome.

Since hyperopia is hereditary, if your close family has farsightedness, there are more or less chances for you to develop it.

Is hyperopia genetic?

Researchers believe hyperopia has a genetic component, i.e., you get the hyperopia genes from your biological parents or ancestors. Some genes affect the development of your eye, including the axial length of the eyes, and a high degree of hyperopia as part of a genetic disorder impacts the overall vision of an individual since birth, such as:

1. Achromatopsia

The back of your eye contains cone-shaped, light-sensitive cells that help you perceive color. With achromatopsia, you have limited visibility and perception of colors and the risk of color blindness exists if you do not manage symptoms on time. Besides, other vision issues, such as rapid eye movements, may also be noted.

2. Down syndrome

Down syndrome is a genetic condition that occurs when individuals inherit an extra copy of chromosome 21. With this genetic disorder, individuals have a total of 47 chromosomes instead of 46 chromosomes, impacting the brain and body development processes. In such a case, an individual may also develop refractive errors like hyperopia.

3. Fragile X syndrome

Fragile X syndrome is a genetic condition causing inherited intellectual disabilities like autism spectrum disorder. There are behavioral, physical, intellectual, and mental health symptoms in individuals born with this, who can be treated with medical therapy. In such conditions, hyperopia may also result.

Symptoms of Hyperopia

  • Blurred vision when looking at nearby objects
  • Difficulty reading or working at close distances
  • Squinting or eye strain when focusing on close-up tasks
  • Headaches or eye fatigue
  • Double vision in some cases

Amidst all these, you might wonder how distant vision is in hyperopia. The near vision can be blurred to some extent, which can be corrected with a convergent lens in farsightedness. But even in mild to moderate cases of hyperopia, the clear vision may lack sharpness.

If you have a higher degree of hyperopia, you get eye strain and fatigue from trying to focus on a distant object for a longer period of time. The complication associated with uncorrected farsightedness is vision problems, resulting from eye strain and headaches, and this can get even worse with overall blurred or distorted vision.

How common is hyperopia?

As per the epidemiology of hyperopia, physiologic (simple and functional) hyperopia is much more common in individuals than pathologic hyperopia. Physiologic hyperopia is a mild variant of farsightedness that occurs in young children with no significant vision problems.

However, pathologic hyperopia is a condition when there is an abnormality regarding the structure of the eyes in an individual. Then, if the eyeball is short or the size of the cornea or lens is not regular, a significant refractive error like hyperopia is seen, along with blurry near vision. But it’s not limited to this; in the long run, your distant vision may also be obstructed.

Hyperopia is seen when the axial length of your eyes is decreased. Due to the severity of vision problems associated with hyperopia, corrective lenses are a must for pathologic hyperopia. Even effective refractive surgery is required to restore vision in some cases if you have an abnormal shape lens.

How do you know if a child has hyperopia?

Children might have trouble seeing closer things as their vision drastically changes over their first 5 to 6 years. Hyperopia could also be present naturally since birth in the child, which can be decreased via emmetropisation. But chances exist that children will remain hyperopic throughout their lives.

Parents must take regular eye examinations for children if they have issues with reading. The optometrist or ophthalmologist in a nearby eye clinic will use eye drops to dilate pupils for a better examination of the extent of hyperopia in your child. Look further back into the retina to see the extent of vision.

Besides, visual acuity screening is recommended to detect hyperopia in children and adults of any age. Also, the vision acuity can be tested using the Snellen vision chart and manifest and cycloplegic refraction. Subjective refraction can be performed with a visual acuity chart at a far distance (20ft or 6m) and a near distance (1ft or 0.33m) for the detection of absolute and facultative hyperopia.

How progressive can hyperopia be if left untreated?

Hyperopia( farsightedness) can lead to vision problems like increased eye strain, leading to fatigue and difficulty concentrating. Hyperopia can get problematic for activities like reading, driving, and even navigating stairs. The challenge of judging distance accurately is a real challenge in hyperopia.

Farsightedness can progress, leading to double vision and additional complications like accommodative esotropia, acute angle closure glaucoma, and strabismus if left untreated. Accommodative esotropia is a type of strabismus when both eyes turn inward because of excessive effort to focus on near vision.

Medical emergencies may result when the drainage angle of the eye blocks due to an increase in ocular pressure. This situation arises from untreated refractive error, often leading to optic nerve damage and the risk of permanent vision loss.

How Can Glasses Improve Your Distance Vision in Hyperopia?

In normal eyes, a clear image is normal, with light rays being correctly focused on the retina. But the same is not true in the case of hyperopia, as the eyeball could be relatively shorter or the cornea and lens could be flatter than normal, causing hindrances in focusing visual information on the back of the human eye, the retina.

  • Uncorrected hyperopia may result in eye strain, but glasses help with it.
  • Eyeglasses with a converging lens provide additional focusing power on the retina.
  • You have more concentration, making it easier to focus on near objects in hyperopia.
  • Improve your comfort and concentration in both near and far objects.
  • But be careful, as strong hyperopic glasses might not be the correct fit, with chances of blurry images at far distances.

Farsightedness (hyperopia) is a common vision condition but it depends on the treatment of the lens and the focal length of your vision. It enhances how the image is formed on the retina.

Hyperopia is not an eye disease but a refractive error; hence, prescription glasses help the eye focus light on the retina to create a clear image in the brain.

Treatment and Management of Hyperopia

Hyperopia can be managed effectively if timely treatment is available. There are several ways to manage the mild and moderate forms of farsightedness, which are,

1. Prescription glasses

Eyeglasses and contact lenses with conveyed lenses can be used as corrective lenses for hyperopia. These prescription eyeglasses blend the right rays to focus correctly on the retina and provide accurate vision both at near and far distances for individuals with farsightedness.

2. Refractive surgery for Hyperopia

Apart from prescription glasses, refractive surgery can be another invasive, permanent solution to treat issues with near vision. Both LASIK and RLE surgery are permanent options for correcting your vision.

An excimer laser creates a cornea flap and helps in reshaping the cornea. The corneal tissues are ablated to treat the refractive errors in your eyes in the LASIK eye procedure. Flaps after LASIK are fused without the need for stitching needles, and the vision restoration chance is also relatively high with a natural healing process. That’s why such refractive surgery is best suited for hyperopia.

RLE also offers permanent vision correction for individuals with hyperopia. Surgical eye procedures remove and replace the natural lens with an artificial lens in people with high grades of hyperopia, especially in older adults.

3. Early detection of hyperopia

Hyperopia, or farsightedness, can affect children in many ways. Significant vision problems are best treated only with early detection to avoid potential complications.

i) Amblyopia (lazy eye):

Amblyopia, also known as lazy eye, is a condition when the brain and eye have difficulty synchronizing together. The vision gets weaker in one of the eyes when the brain cannot recognize the visual information seen through one of the eyes. The brain favors one eye compared to another, and patching therapy might be required to solve visual strain in the weaker eyes.

ii) Strabismus (Crossed Eyes)

Some individuals with hyperopia may squint or develop strabismus to compensate for blurry near vision. It is an eye disorder where both eyes do not look in the same direction right away. One eye turns inward or outward in comparison to another. Hence, early diagnosis is important to permanently treat the depth perception of strabismus.

Living With Hyperopia

Regular eye exams are crucial to monitor vision changes in the case of the progression of farsightedness. Discomforting symptoms like eye strain and headaches can often be problematic; hence, managing symptoms while living with them is crucial.

Focus on a healthy diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins A, C, E, zinc, lutein, leafy green vegetables, and oily fish. Even eye exercises help you reduce eye strain. The simple way to correct hyperopia is to wear eyeglasses and contact lenses to treat farsightedness. Also, seek immediate medical attention to monitor the extent of vision changes.

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