Long sightedness – also known as hyperopia or far sightedness – makes it difficult to focus on objects close up.
Many people confuse long sightedness with short sightedness. Long sightedness does not affect your distance vision, but it does affect your ability to focus on near objects. Age-related long sightedness is called presbyopia, and relates to a stiffening of the eye’s lens. Both types of long sightedness are perfectly normal, and easily treated.
Symptoms of long sightedness
If you find it difficult to focus on things close up, or if objects near to you appear blurry, it could be a sign that you suffer from long sightedness. Distance vision in long sighted people generally remains clear.
Long sightedness makes reading difficult, particularly if the type is small. You may find yourself squinting often, or holding books and newspapers at arm’s length so that you can focus on the text.
Many long sighted people suffer sore and tired eyes from over-straining them in the effort to view things close up. Headaches from eye strain are also a common symptom among people with long sightedness.
Causes of long sightedness
To understand long sightedness, it first helps to understand how the eye works.
Long sightedness is a refractive error caused by an imperfection in the eye. The imperfection changes the way your eye focuses the light rays that pass into it. This can happen when:
- The eyeball is shorter than normal
- The cornea is less curved than normal
- The lens is thinner than normal
When any of these imperfections occur, it changes the focusing point of the eye so that light rays focus behind your retina, instead of onto it. This makes close-up objects look blurry. Distance objects still appear clear, because they don’t need as much focusing power, so they focus on your retina properly.
Hyperopia is believed to be an inherited condition, which means you’re more likely to suffer long sightedness if one of your parents has it. Hyperopia can develop in childhood, although symptoms are most common among adults.
Presbyopia is age-related long-sightedness.
Treatment for long sightedness
People with long sightedness generally have good vision aside from the refractive error. Refractive errors were traditionally corrected with glasses and contacts. However, for permanent vision correction and freedom from the hassles of glasses and contacts, laser eye surgery is an excellent option.
Eye Institute offers the safest and most advanced laser eye surgery available in New Zealand, called iLASIK. Most people with long sightedness are suitable for iLASIK, so make an appointment for your free laser assessment today.