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Thu Dec 14 2023

Understanding Hyperopia: Known as Farsightedness or Long-Sightedness

 HYPEROPIA, also known as farsightedness or long-sightedness, is a common vision problem that affects millions of people globally[1]. In this condition, a person can see distant objects clearly, but objects up close appear blurry.  In this article, we will look at hyperopia and its prevalence, causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment.

Hyperopia is a refractive error in the eye that occurs when light cannot be properly focused on the retina. This causes blurred vision, particularly when looking at close-up objects.  It is estimated that around 5% of the population has hyperopia, making it a common condition[2].


Prevalence of Hyperopia

People of all ages are affected by hyperopia, but it is more prevalent in older adults. [3]. Our eyes become less flexible as we age, and the muscles that control the lens weaken, causing hyperopia to develop or worsen. Furthermore, hyperopia is frequently hereditary, which means that it can be passed down from generation to generation.[4]. However, because the eyes and visual system are still developing, young children with mild hyperopia may not show symptoms until they go to school or even later in life.

What is the Main Cause of Hyperopia?

The main cause of hyperopia is a refractive error in the eye[5]. This occurs when the eye is too short or when the cornea is not curved enough. This causes light to focus behind the retina, instead of directly on it, resulting in blurred vision. It is also possible for hyperopia to develop as a result of other vision problems, such as cataracts or presbyopia.


Symptoms of Hyperopia

The following are the most common symptoms of Hyperopia:

  • Blurred Vision at a Close Distance: People with long-sightedness often experience blurred vision when trying to see objects that are close up, such as books, phones, or computer screens. This can make reading or working on the computer difficult and cause eye strain or headaches.
  • Eyestrain or Headache: People with hyperopia frequently experience eyestrain or headaches as a result of the extra effort required by their eyes to focus on close-up objects. These symptoms are especially noticeable after prolonged reading or computer use.
  • Squinting: Squinting is another common symptom of hyperopia, as it helps to reduce the blurriness and bring objects into focus. However, squinting can also cause eye strain, headaches, and other eye problems.
  • Fatigue While Reading: People with hyperopia often experience fatigue while reading, as their eyes need to work harder to see the words clearly. This can lead to a decreased ability to focus and an increased risk of eye strain or headaches.


Diagnosis of Hyperopia

A comprehensive eye exam, which includes a test to measure your visual acuity and refraction to check your glasses prescription are the main tests used to diagnose hyperopia. Your eye doctor may also use eye drops to dilate your pupils as well as check your eye health to determine the extent of your hyperopia and the best course of treatment.

Can Hyperopia be Corrected?

Yes, hyperopia can be corrected. There are a lot of treatment options available for hyperopia, ranging from simple corrective lenses to more complex refractive surgery. However, it is important to discuss the risks and benefits of these procedures with your eye doctor before deciding if they are right for you. Overall, hyperopia can be effectively corrected with the right treatment, allowing you to enjoy clear, comfortable vision.

The following are the most common methods of correction:

  • Prescription Glasses or Contacts: If you have hyperopia, your eye doctor may prescribe corrective lenses, such as glasses or contacts. These lenses will help focus light directly onto the retina, reducing blurriness and improving your vision. Contact lenses are another option for correcting hyperopia, and are a popular choice for people who do not want to wear glasses.
    • A common question some patients ask is “If my vision is good, why do people with Hyperopia Need Glasses?”
    • Not everyone with hyperopia needs glasses, but many do. The severity of your hyperopia will determine whether you need corrective lenses. If your hyperopia is mild, you may not notice any symptoms or only need glasses for certain tasks, such as reading or using a computer. However, if your hyperopia is more severe, you may need to wear glasses or contacts all the time to see clearly.
  • Refractive Surgery: Refractive surgery, such as LASIK or PRK, can also be used to correct hyperopia. During these procedures, the shape of the cornea is altered to improve its ability to focus light onto the retina. Refractive surgery is a safe and effective option for many people with hyperopia, but it is important to discuss the risks and benefits with your eye doctor before deciding if it is the right choice for you.


Prevention of Hyperopia

While hyperopia cannot be prevented, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of developing symptoms or worsening your condition. These include:

  • Regular Eye Exams: Regular eye exams are crucial for detecting and managing hyperopia. Your eye doctor can monitor your vision and eye health, and make any necessary adjustments to your corrective lenses or treatment plan.
  • Healthy Lifestyle: Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet and regular exercise, can also help to reduce your risk of developing symptoms or worsening your hyperopia.


To summarize, hyperopia, also known as farsightedness, is a common vision problem that affects millions of people worldwide. You can regain control of your vision and maintain clear, comfortable vision by consulting an eye doctor for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

If you suspect you have hyperopia, you can book a bulk billed eye test with our optometrist online or call us at 03 9702 9118.