Hyperopia, also known as long sightedness or far sightedness, is a refractive error of the eye.
In order to see clearly, light entering the eye is usually refracted or bent by the cornea to focus on a single point on the retina at the back of the eye, in order to form a sharp, crisp image.
However, if the eyeball is too short or the cornea is flat, rather than being spherical, then the light entering the eye lands behind the retina instead of on it.
This causes objects close to you to appear blurred. A person who has hyperopia will squint and have trouble seeing near objects; particularly in low-light conditions.
If they try to look at something closer to them, they find they have to make a constant effort to try to focus, and frequently find they are experiencing eye strain, headaches, and eye fatigue. This is because the lens of the eye must exert effort to focus the image on the retina.
Babies and children are usually slightly farsighted but as they grow and their eyes lengthen, the condition often corrects itself by age seven. Young adults who remain farsighted often don’t realise their condition because they have enough flexibility in focusing power to correct the condition without the aid of eye glasses or contact lenses.
As they become adults, the symptoms become more noticeable until there is a distinct problem in seeing near objects, and even distant objects may be blurred after a while.
Hyperopia is easy to fix, and eyes that are farsighted are usually otherwise healthy. Hyperopia is corrected when light can be refocused directly onto the retina instead of behind it, and this can be achieved through vision correction.
Eyeglasses or contact lenses are a short-term solution to hyperopia, as they will increase the refractive power of the eye.
Laser eye surgery is a long-term solution to hyperopia without having to depend on corrective eyewear. At Optilase, a cool beam laser is used to painlessly vaporise corneal tissue from the outer edge of the cornea.
This swift, precision surgery increases the gradient of the cornea; changing its shape so that it can bend or refract light correctly onto the retina to form a clear image.