Hyperopia: What is it? Symptoms, Causes, Treatment and Diagnosis

A shared vision defect makes it difficult to focus on nearby objects.

People with severe hyperopia can only focus on objects far away or can not concentrate.

It occurs when the eyeball or lens is too short or the cornea is too flat.

Also known as hyperopia or farsightedness, it affects between 5 and 10 percent of the population of the United States (USA).

It can develop as the muscles weaken from about 40 years onwards, also known as presbyopia, or be present from birth.

Hyperopia creates difficulty in seeing the foreground objects.

The most common signs and symptoms of hyperopia:

  • Nearby objects appear blurred
  • The person needs to squint to see clearly
  • A headache or discomfort occurs after prolonged reading or writing
  • Ocular fatigue develops, which burns or hurts in or around the eyes
  • The person can not perceive depth effectively.

Other eye conditions may develop if left untreated, such as lazy eye or amblyopia, crossed eyes, or strabismus.



Two parts of the human eye make it possible to focus.

  • The cornea: the transparent front part of the eye that receives and focuses light towards the eye.
  • The lens: a fine structure inside the eye that focuses light rays on the retina.

The retina is a layer of nerves in the back of the eye that detects light and sends impulses through the optic nerve to the brain.

The optic nerve connects the eye to the brain and transports these focused light signals formed by the retina to the brain. The brain then interprets them as images.

The optimal shape is with a perfectly smooth cornea and lens curvature. The cornea and the lens refract or bend the incoming rays of light. When this happens, an image sharply focuses on the retina. The softer the curve, the clearer the incoming image will be.

Farsightedness occurs when light is not refracted correctly through an irregular and less smooth cornea or lens. It is a type of refractive error. Refractive errors can also cause myopia or nearsightedness, and astigmatism.

Due to its poor shape, the rays of light focus on a point behind the retina, not on it. They travel to the back of the retina before they have been correctly bent by the lens and cornea, which produces blurred vision when objects are closer.

People who are born with farsightedness can focus on distant objects during childhood. However, eventually, it may be harder to concentrate, and even foreign entities may not be apparent.

In rare cases, hyperopia may be the result of:

  • Diabetes.
  • Tumors
  • Fovea hypoplasia (macular hypoplasia) is a rare medical condition involving the macula’s underdevelopment, a small area on the retina. Macular hypoplasia is often related to albinism.

Experts believe that hyperopia can be hereditary so that it can be passed from parents to children.


An optometrist can perform a standard eye exam to diagnose hyperopia.

Optometrists can evaluate vision, prescribe corrective lenses, and diagnose common eye problems. Alternatively, an ophthalmologist or eye doctor can perform the test if a more complex issue is suspected.


Unlike other eye diseases, hyperopia is not treated correctly, such as conjunctivitis or another similar eye disease; in any case, the person suffering from this disease can choose to correct it.

To correct the hyperopia, the person can choose to wear glasses or glasses with a specific formula given by an optometrist; If you do not want to wear glasses, you could also use contact lenses.

Other more expensive options involve surgery, in this case, refractive surgery. But to apply this option, the doctor must verify if the person is apt to be carried out or not a surgery of this type. This is a simple surgery. It is done with local anesthesia, and there are even patients who operate both eyes successfully.

Another alternative to correct this disease is the so-called orthokeratology consisting of contact lenses of rigid material that the patient must be placed when he sleeps. Thanks to its geometry, the lens is doing corrective work on the cornea.

Hyperopia refracts the light behind the retina.

In hyperopia, the light is refracted to a point behind the retina due to the excessive curvature of the cornea.

A person should have an eye exam if they experience any of the above symptoms or reach 40 years of age without symptoms of hyperopia.

Younger children should also have eye exams in the following stages:

  • At birth.
  • During his first year of life.
  • Around three and a half years of age.
  • About five years old.

A person who already uses corrective lenses will need more frequent exams to ensure that the prescription of their lenses remains adequate.

Most eye conditions can be successfully corrected, but additional complications are at risk if left untreated.

A complete eye test should verify the following:

  • Ability to focus on close objects
  • General eye health, to determine if there are ocular conditions or physical abnormalities
  • Visual acuity, or sharpness, using a Snellen letter diagram that decreases the size of pupil dilation or widening
  • Side view
  • Ocular motility or eye movement
  • The front of the eye
  • Retina and optic nerve