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Farsightedness is an eye problem wherein the individual can see distant objects clearly but close objects look blurry. The medical term for farsightedness is hyperopia and it definitely needs a medical check up.

What do you experience when you are farsighted?

Apart from being unable to clearly see nearby objects, you might have headache and pain in and around the eyes.

Activities that require close vision like reading, working in computer, sewing, writing, etc. would impose lot of strain in your eyes, due to which you might have headache. You will tend to squint your eyes to get a better clarity.

What causes farsightedness

Farsightedness results from refractive error in the eyes. It means the light rays focus behind the retina instead of on the retina, precisely. This happens when an individual’s eyes are shorter than normal or if the cornea is flat.

Farsightedness often runs in family. Some children may be born with hyperopia, however in most cases they outgrow it.

When to see a doctor?

Since farsightedness is more common in children, he/she may complain of regular headache and eye strain. As result of this, your kid may be rubbing the eyes and avoid reading. You must consider getting an eye check up done.  

For adults, they must get their eyes routinely checked even if the problems are not evident.

Diagnosis of farsightedness

The eye specialist shall conduct a general eye exam with a magnifying lens to check the condition of the eyes.

The standard vision test is- reading the chart (Jaeger chart) placed at certain distance in the doctor’s room. A phoropter will be placed at your eye level and you have to look through the device towards the chart while you doctor will keep slipping various lenses to determine the power for your eyes.

Subsequently, you may need to undergo a series of vision tests which commonly include slit lamp tests, tonometry, ophthalmoscopy, etc.

Treatment for farsightedness

Farsightedness in children as well as adults may not require treatment unless a major defect lies in the contour of the eyes. The refractive error can be easily solved with the help of corrective lenses or eye glasses.

Additionally, your doctor might suggest eye drops which would reduce eye strain and soothe your eyes. While working and reading, make sure you take breaks as frequently as possible and splash cold water in your eyes. The tautness, burning sensation and tiredness in your eyes shall reduce a lot.

The length of the eyes increases and the corneal defect resolves spontaneously as children grow.

However, older people do not have flexibility in the lens, so they might need to undergo a surgery as well. Refractive surgeries like laser-assisted subepithelial keratectomy (LASEK), laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis (LASIK), conductive keratoplasty (CK), and photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) can reshape the cornea and henceforth, correct the vision problem.

Can farsightedness be prevented?

Farsightedness cannot be prevented. However early diagnosis can quickly improve the refractive error in your eyes which would further improve your vision considerably. Routine eye check-ups are mandatory if you have diabetes or high blood pressure.

We suggest you to go for a routine eye check even if your eyes are perfectly sane. And regarding farsightedness- you need to constantly wear your corrective eye gears.

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Written by: Saptakee sengupta
Date last updated: January 29, 2015

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