Hyperopia is more commonly known as long-sightedness or far sightedness. It is caused by a fault in the ability of your eyes to focus. For most people suffering from long-sightedness they will have difficulty focusing on objects that are close to them, with the object appearing blurred. However, they will not have problems focusing on objects that are in the distance.
How Vision Normally Works
The images we see start out as light rays that pass first through the cornea, the slightly domed surface at the front of the eye, then through the lens before being focused on the retina, the area at the back of our eyes. These light rays then become electrical signals that are carried by the optic nerve to our brains.
When Someone Has Hyperopia
As with normal vision the images a person with long-sightedness sees start off as light rays passing though the cornea and lens of the eye, but instead of the light rays being focused onto the retina, their point of focus is behind the retina, outside of the eyeball itself.
There are several reasons this can happen. If the eyeball itself is too short, from front to back, then the light rays will not be able to focus on the retina. Alternatively the problem may be at the front of the eye with the cornea or lens. If the curvature of the cornea is too shallow it will not bend the light rays to the correct angle to successfully direct them at the retina, the same is true of the lens if it is too thin.
What Are The Symptoms of Hyperopia?
Hyperopia can affect people in different ways, depending on the life we lead and the job we do. These are some of the more common problems people with untreated long-sightedness can suffer from.
Irritable and sore eyes can be a result of the constant struggle to see nearby objects and to read and write. Your blink rate may be affected if you are constantly staring at objects trying to get them into focus, giving your eyes a dry and scratchy feeling.
Inability to focus on magazines and newspapers is one of the most commonly thought of symptoms of far-sightedness. Many people find themselves trying to hold things at arm’s length in an attempt to bring the text into focus.
Headaches and eyestrain are common amongst people with hyperopia and are caused by the constant struggle to focus on nearby objects and perform simple tasks. Squinting is another coping method of hyperopia and can lead to headaches and tension from the unnatural exertion.
Who Suffers From Hyperopia?
When thinking of long-sightedness many people automatically assume it as condition related to ageing. While this is true, age related long-sightedness is actually called presbyopia and is a result of decreased flexibility of the lens. While this is part of the ageing process it is still important to get your eyes checked by an ophthalmologist.
Children can also suffer from hyperopia and some are born with it. For some children the condition will improve as they age and the normal development of their eyes will correct the problem. Even so it is still important to get a child's eyes checked if they show any signs of being long-sighted, as left untreated in young children it can lead to other problems such as lazy eyes.