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

It is a common vision defect that makes it difficult to focus on nearby objects.

People with severe hyperopia can only focus on objects that are far away, or that can not focus at all.

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 clearly.

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.

If left untreated, other eye conditions may develop, such as lazy eye or amblyopia, and crossed eyes, or strabismus.

Causes

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

  • The cornea: the clear front part of the eye that receives and focuses light towards the eye.
  • The lens: a transparent structure inside the eye that focuses the rays of light 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 for an eye is with a perfectly smooth curvature of the cornea and the lens. 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.

The rays of light focus on a point behind the retina, and not on it, due to the imperfect shape. 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 distant objects may not be clear.

In rare cases, hyperopia may be the result of:

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

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

Diagnosis

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 problem is suspected.

Treatment

Unlike other eye diseases, hyperopia is not treated properly, for example as conjunctivitis or other 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, then you could also use contact lenses.

Other more expensive options involve surgery. In this case refractive surgery. But to apply to this option it must be the doctor who verifies 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 both operate both eyes successfully.

Another alternative to correct this disease, is the so-called orthokeratology consisting basically of contact lenses of rigid material that the patient must be placed when he sleeps, while the lens thanks to its geometry 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 if they 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 3 and a half years of age.
  • Around 5 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 there is a risk of additional complications 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