The clinical suspicion for hyperopia or farsightedness is usually clinched when patients present with following signs and symptoms:
Hyperopia is easily diagnosed with a simple eye examination. Other instrumentation like funduscopy (direct examination of the retina) or slit lamp examination may be used to demonstrate any defect in the eye’s anatomy.
The conservative treatment of hyperopia includes the prescription of graded lenses (glasses) and the use of contact lenses. The early use of corrective glasses and contact lenses in the treatment of hyperopia in children reduces the temporal risk for advanced age myopia .
For corneal imperfections, refractive surgery may be applied to correct vision. These are the most common refractive surgical procedures done in hyperopia correction: Laser assisted in situ Keratomileusis or LASIK , Laser assisted subepithelial keratectomy or LASEK, Photorefractive Keratectomy or PRK , Conductive Keratoplasty or CK.
Congenital or acquired hyperopia may easily be addressed with proper prescription lenses or corrective ophthalmologic surgery. In some cases, mild hyperopia may resolve spontaneously. Mortality with hyperopia rarely occurs but are usually related to driving accidents or industrial accidents in heavy equipment due to an impaired visual acuity.
Hyperopia is commonly associated with the following complications:
In the normal eye, there are two distinct parts that focuses the image – the cornea and the lens. They both have a soft curvature that refracts (bends) the image and focuses it to the retina.
Any imperfections in natural curvature of the cornea and the lens disrupts the focus off the cornea. While the eyeball is too short, images sent through the normal cornea and lens are focused at the back of the retina giving a blurry object in our vision.
There are no definite data as to the exact number of hyperopic individuals are in the population. Ophthalmologic data in the US suggest that there are millions of people suffering from hyperopia.
Approximately half of those wearing glasses and contact lenses suffer from farsightedness. Studies have shown that hyperopia is the most common refractive error in both Asian and Non-Hispanic white children .
Presbyopia or the natural tendency of the eye to be hyperopic with increasing age may occur in the great majority of the population. Presbyopia is oftentimes confused with primary hyperopia in clinical practice because of it close similarities .
The basic pathophysiology of hyperopia or farsightedness is the refractive error that take place in the eye. With normal image and light refraction by the cornea and the lens, the image is practically brought exactly on the retina.
Patients with a pathologic thickening of the cornea will refract the light and image improperly bringing the image beyond the retinal surface. This hyper-refraction gives a blurring in the vision. Error of refraction in the lens also displaces the image and light away from the retina giving a similar symptomatology as the former. Nanophthalmos or the abnormal placement of lens near the retina will obscure focusing and cause hyperopia .
In cases where the eyeball is shorter in diameter than usual, normal refractive elements (cornea and lens) may still over shoot the image beyond the retina. The problem in the focus may easily be correctable when the image is brought farther from the eye to bring the image exactly on top of the retina. In far sightedness, patients makes an unconscious effort to focus on the blurry object. This extra effort may cause eye fatigue, tension, discomfort and occasional headaches which may be severe.
In general, congenital and acquired hyperopia may not be preventable. The following tips of prevention may however protect your eyes and your vision:
Hyperopia or more commonly known as “farsightedness” is a clinical condition characterized by the difficulty in focusing in nearby object which gradually improves when the object in focus is brought to a nearer distance.
Clinically, hyperopia occurs when the eyeball’s diameter is shorter than normal, or the corneal curvature is defective enough to impair normal focusing. Farsightedness is believed to be hereditary in nature or may be influenced by environmental factors. A number of hyperopic individuals may actually be born with the condition. Hyperopia may easily be correctable with use of spectacle glasses or eye surgery.
Patients must understand that farsightedness or hyperopia is very common. Any changes in the quality of vision or any detraction on your everyday enjoyment must be brought promptly for medical or ophthalmologic evaluation.
Adults reaching the age of 40 must submit for a baseline eye examination and a regular eye check-up every two to four years before the age of 55. Frequency of visits may be adjusted yearly beyond the age of 60 years. However, those with prescription glasses and contact lenses must visit their doctors annually. Children and adolescents who are at risk should be regularly screened by their pediatricians .