What is farsightedness?
Farsightedness is a common vision condition in which you can see distant objects clearer than objects nearby. The degree of your farsightedness influences your focusing ability. People with severe condition may see clearly only objects in a great distance away, while those with mild farsightedness may be able to clearly see objects that are closer.
Farsightedness usually presents at birth and tends to run in families. It can be associated with several problems, such as:
- Crossed eyes;
- Reduced quality of life;
How common is farsightedness?
This health condition is extremely common. It can affect patients at any age. It can be managed by reducing your risk factors. Please discuss with your doctor for further information.
What are the symptoms of farsightedness?
The common symptoms of farsightedness are:
- Nearby objects may appear blurry.
- You need to squint to see clearly.
- You have eyestrain, including burning eyes, and aching in or around the eyes.
- You experience eye discomfort or a headache after a prolonged interval of conducting close tasks, such as reading, writing, computer work or drawing.
Children with this problem may have no symptoms. But a child with more severe farsightedness may:
- Have headaches.
- Rub his or her eyes often.
- Have trouble reading or show little interest in reading.
There may be some symptoms not listed above. If you have any concerns about a symptom, please consult your doctor.
When should I see my doctor?
See a doctor if your quality of vision detracts from your enjoyment of activities. He or she can determine the degree of your farsightedness and advise you of options to correct your vision.
If you don’t wear glasses or contacts, have no symptoms of eye trouble and are at a low risk of developing eye diseases, have a baseline eye exam at age 40. Then have an exam at the following intervals:
- Every two to four years between 40 and 54 years;
- Every one to three years between 55 and 64 years;
- Every one to two years beginning at age 65.
If you’re at high risk of certain eye diseases, such as glaucoma, the frequency of visits should be increased to:
- Every two to four years up to age 40;
- Every one to three years between 40 and 54 years;
- Every one to two years from age 55 onward.
Children and adolescents are recommended to be screened approximately every two years to check for vision problems.
What causes farsightedness?
Farsightedness occurs when light entering the eye is focused behind the retina instead of directly on it . This is caused by an eye that is too short, whose cornea is not curved enough, or whose lens sits farther back in the eye than normal.
Farsightedness often runs in families. In rare cases, some diseases such as retinopathy and eye tumors can cause it.
What increases my risk for farsightedness?
There are many risk factors for farsightedness, such as:
Diagnosis & treatment
The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. ALWAYS consult with your doctor for more information.
How is farsightedness diagnosed?
Farsightedness is diagnosed by a basic eye exam. A complete eye examination involves a series of tests. Your eye doctor may use odd-looking instruments, aim bright lights directly at your eyes and request that you look through an array of lenses. Each test allows your doctor to examine a different aspect of your eyes, including your vision.
How is farsightedness treated?
Most farsighted people don’t need treatment. Your eyes can usually adjust to make up for the problem. But as you age and your eyes can’t adjust as well, you will probably need eyeglasses or contact lenses.
- The variety of eyeglasses is wide and includes bifocals, trifocals, progressive lenses and reading lenses.
- Contact lenses. A wide variety of contact lenses are available — hard, soft, extended wear, disposable, rigid gas permeable and bifocal. Ask your eye doctor about the pros and cons of contact lenses and what might be best for you.
Although most refractive surgical procedures are used to treat nearsightedness, they can also be used for farsightedness. These surgical treatments correct farsightedness by reshaping the curvature of your cornea. Refractive surgery methods include:
- Laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis (LASIK).
- Laser-assisted subepithelial keratectomy (LASEK).
- Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK).
- Conductive keratoplasty (CK).
Some of the possible complications that can occur after refractive surgery include:
- Under correction or overcorrection of your initial problem;
- Visual side effects, such as a halo or starburst appearing around lights;
- Dry eye;
- Rarely, vision loss.
Discuss the potential risks and benefits of these procedures with your eye doctor.
Lifestyle changes & home remedies
What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help me manage farsightedness?
The following lifestyles and home remedies might help you cope with farsightedness:
- Have your eyes checked. Regardless of how well you see, have your eyes checked regularly.
- Control chronic health conditions. Certain conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, can affect your vision if you don’t receive proper treatment.
- Recognize symptoms. Sudden loss of vision in one eye, sudden hazy or blurred vision, flashes of light, black spots, or halos or rainbows around lights may signal a serious medical problem. Seek immediate medical care if you experience any of these signs or symptoms.
- Protect your eyes from the sun. Wear sunglasses that block ultraviolet (UV) radiation. This is especially important if you spend long hours in the sun or are taking a prescription medication that increases your sensitivity to UV radiation.
- Eat healthy foods. Maintain a healthy diet that contains plenty of fruits and vegetables. A diet containing these foods is necessary to maintain a healthy retina, and likely slows the progression of macular degeneration. Eat dark leafy foods and bright-colored fruits and vegetables, such as spinach, kale, carrots, yams and cantaloupe.
- Don’t smoke. Smoking can adversely affect your eye health. Smoking is one of the most important preventable risk factors for developing macular degeneration.
- Use the right glasses. The right glasses optimize your vision. Having regular exams will ensure that your eyeglass prescription is correct.
- Use good lighting. Turning up the lights can improve contrast and help you see better.
If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution for you.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Farsightedness. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/farsightedness/basics/prevention/con-20027486. Accessed October 03, 2016.
Farsightedness (Hyperopia) – Topic Overview. http://www.webmd.com/eye-health/tc/farsightedness-hyperopia-topic-overview#2. Accessed October 03, 2016.
Review Date: January 4, 2017 | Last Modified: January 4, 2017