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Farsightedness, also called hyperopia, is a condition that affects your vision. In this condition, objects near you may appear blurry while you can see distant objects clearly. It is usually present at birth and tends to run in families. Farsightedness becomes more common with age. Let’s take a detailed look at farsightedness, its causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment in Bangalore.

What is Farsightedness (Hyperopia)?

Farsightedness, also known as longsightedness and medically as hyperopia, is an eye-focusing disorder. As the name suggests, in this condition, a person can see distant objects clearly (farsighted) but has difficulty focusing on objects nearby. 

In cases of severe farsightedness, all things may look blurry, irrespective of the distance. Farsightedness can occur at any age, including in infants and young children. However, it is more common in older adults. As people age, the lens of the eye becomes less flexible, which can cause farsightedness to worsen.

What are the Causes of Farsightedness?

Farsightedness is caused by a refractive error (an eye condition that occurs when the shape of the eye prevents light from being focused correctly on the retina). Farsightedness occurs when the eyeball is too short or the cornea is too flat, causing the light to be refracted incorrectly.

Some of the risk factors that can lead to the development of farsightedness are:

  • Genetics: If you have a family history of the condition, you may be at higher risk of developing it.
  • Advancing age: With age, the lens in the eye becomes less flexible, which can make it harder to focus on nearby objects.
  • Medical conditions: Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes and multiple sclerosis, can increase the risk of developing farsightedness.
  • Medications: Certain medications, such as antidepressants, can cause temporary farsightedness.

In some cases, although rarely, farsightedness may also result from:

  • Diabetes
  • Tumors
  • Macular hypoplasia, also called foveal hypoplasia, a rare medical condition in which the macula (a small area on the retina) is underdeveloped. 

What are the Symptoms of Farsightedness?

The most common symptoms of farsightedness or hyperopia include:

  • Nearby objects appear blurry
  • Squinting or straining to see clearly
  • Headache or discomfort after prolonged reading or writing
  • Eyestrain or dull pain in the eye, especially while reading
  • Double vision, especially while looking at nearby objects.

How is Farsightedness Diagnosed?

A standard eye exam can be used to diagnose farsightedness or hyperopia.

The tests for diagnosing farsightedness include: 

  • Visual Acuity: This test checks for the sharpness of your vision at a distance and close-up, by making you look at a chart with different-sized letters or symbols. The eye care specialist will make you cover one eye while the other is being tested.
  • Refraction Assessment: In checking for the refractive ability of your eyes, the eye doctor may use various instruments and ask you to look through lenses to test your distance and close-up vision. An instrument called a phoropter is placed on your eyes and different lenses are placed in it. The doctor then asks you to read an eye chart with each lens to determine the appropriate prescription to correct your vision problems. Another instrument called a retinoscope may also be used to shine a special light into your eyes and see how it reflects off the retina. 
  • Eye Health Examination: To examine your eye thoroughly, the doctor may use special drops to dilate your eyes and get a better view of the inner eye. The eye drops increase the size of the pupils (the dark central portion of the eye) to let more light in and allow them to examine the retina. The doctor may also use a special lens with a light to examine the condition of the retina and optic nerve. The drops may make your eyes more light-sensitive for a few hours. 

What are the Treatment Measures for Farsightedness?

Farsightedness or hyperopia can be treated through prescription lenses in the form of eyeglasses or contact lenses, and refractive surgery.

  • Prescription Eyeglasses: Eyeglass is the most common and popular treatment option for most children and adults with farsightedness or hyperopia. The right prescription helps the eye focus light on the retina and clears up your near vision. The type of prescription lens for your glasses and the duration for wearing them depends on the severity of farsightedness. Eyeglass varieties include bifocals, trifocals, and standard reading glasses.
  • Prescription Contact Lenses: Contact lenses are small clear discs worn directly on the eyes. They are available in a variety of materials and designs and many people prefer them over eyeglasses. Consult your eye doctor to know if contact lenses are a good option for you based on your specific symptoms. 
  • Refractive Surgery: In cases where prescription lenses may not suffice to correct farsightedness, you will need refractive surgery to correct your vision. The goal of refractive surgery is to improve vision by altering the shape of the cornea, the transparent dome-shaped structure at the front of the eye, or by replacing the natural lens with an artificial one.

The types of surgery available are: 

  • LASIK: It stands for laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis. In this procedure, a laser is used to cut a thin, hinged flap through the top of the cornea and adjust the curves of the cornea to correct farsightedness.
  • LASEK: It stands for laser-assisted subepithelial keratectomy. In this procedure, the eye surgeon uses a laser to cut an ultra-thin flap through only the top protective layer (epithelium) of the cornea. The laser is then used to reshape the cornea.
  • PRK: It stands for photorefractive keratectomy and is a similar procedure to LASEK. However, in PRK, the surgeon completely removes the epithelium and uses a laser to reshape the cornea. The epithelium is not replaced and instead, a temporary contact lens is used to cover and protect the cornea until the epithelium grows back naturally.

What are the Complications of Farsightedness?

Complications of farsightedness may occur when it goes untreated in children and adults. Potential complications include:

  • Development of strabismus or “crossed eyes”, wherein both eyes do not line up in the same direction.
  • Increased risk of development of amblyopia or “lazy eye”, wherein the brain cannot recognize the sight from one eye.
  • Developmental delays in children.
  • Learning problems in children.
  • Increased risk of developing glaucoma and cataracts. 
  • Eyestrain and headaches.
  • Impaired safety, especially while driving a car or operating heavy equipment.
  • Reduced quality of life and diminished enjoyment of day-to-day activities.

What are the Preventive Measures for Farsightedness?

Farsightedness cannot be prevented. However, you can take some steps to improve the general health of your eyes, reduce the risk of developing farsightedness, and slow down its progression. 

  • Opt for regular eye checkups with qualified eye health specialists. 
  • Control chronic health conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure, which can affect your vision if not managed well.
  • Protect your eyes from the sun with UV-radiation-blocking sunglasses.
  • Shield your eyes against injuries by wearing protective eyewear while playing sports, mowing the lawn, etc.
  • Adopt a balanced diet with eye-health promoting foods such as leafy greens, fruits, and fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as tuna and salmon.
  • Quit smoking, as it can adversely affect your eye health.
  • Use good lighting for your activities so you can see better.
  • Reduce eyestrain by resting your eyes regularly when working on a computer or reading. 

Why choose Medfin?

Surgery can be a daunting aspect, and feeling anxious is absolutely normal. The massive amount of information you can get from the internet may confuse you even more. This is where Medfin can help. Leave us the hefty task of finding the best hospital, the finest doctor, and the latest procedure in Bangalore at the lowest cost. Let us take charge while you sit back and focus on your health and recovery. Think surgery! Think Medfin! 

Frequently Asked Questions

Medfin offers the latest surgical procedures to ensure that you recover as fast as possible in the least painful way possible.

Unfortunately, farsightedness or hyperopia does not go away unless you undergo surgery. Hence, while eye exercises may help to strengthen the eye muscles, they do not cure hyperopia. 

No, reading in dim light or watching too much TV cannot cause farsightedness. Farsightedness or hyperopia is usually caused by structural differences in the eye which result in light focusing behind the retina instead of on it. These structural differences are mostly determined by genetics, advancing age, or other factors.

Yes, in very extreme cases, farsightedness or hyperopia may cause severe, vision-threatening problems, including blindness.

No, although farsightedness (hyperopia) and presbyopia both cause difficulties in seeing nearby objects, they are not the same thing. Farsightedness is usually present from a young age and is a result of structural differences in the eye which cause problems with the way the eye focuses light. 

On the other hand, presbyopia is a condition that occurs as a natural part of the aging process and happens when the eye lens loses its flexibility and ability to change shape, making it difficult to focus on close-up objects. 

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